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Arlington-based IT company C3 Integrated Solutions announces merger

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

New federal security requirements continue to boost a local Arlington-based IT company.

C3 Integrated Solutions announced last week it is merging with Massachusetts-based Steel Root to provide defense contractors, including its 70 clients headquartered in Arlington, an “end-to-end solution” for reaching and maintaining compliance with new standards from the Department of Defense.

In a statement, C3 complimented Steel Root, saying the compliance product it launched in 2021 “frankly, fills key gaps in our offering,” which includes IT services such as software, email and cybersecurity.

For its part, C3 says it will “bring a breadth of experience and close relationship with Microsoft that will only accelerate their already impressive growth.”

The new company will continue operating under C3’s name and its headquarters will be in Arlington, C3 Marketing Director Karen M. Vasquez tells ARLnow. As a result of the merger, the new C3 will keep its current staffing levels of about 60 people and plot an expansion.

“Both teams feel very strongly about the white glove, boutique service we’re able to apply to clients,” she said. “In order for us to maintain that approach, we need to bring in more people.”

It will also get a new CEO, Marc Pantoni.

“He’s done this before,” C3 cofounder Bill Wootton, who will now be the Chief Revenue Officer, said in a video discussing the merger. “He knows how to build to the scale I think we’re going to need as we try to meet this market demand.”

This is the latest sign of growth for C3, which this year placed No. 25 in the Washington Business Journal’s recent ranking of the region’s fastest-growing companies and on the Inc. 5000 list, ranks 1,544th in the U.S, 63rd in Virginia and 88th among IT Management companies.

Both C3, founded in 2008, and Steel Root, founded in 2016, attribute their individual growth to the new regulations, announced in late 2020. Among other things, they require companies to have access entirely U.S.-based help desks and introduces auditors to ensure compliance, where before companies could self-report this.

“This merger opportunity was really a situation where one plus one equals three,” co-founder Ryan Heidorn, who will be the new Chief Technology Officer, said in the video.

Funding from the merger, provided by private equity company M/C Partners, will cover the cost of the merger as well as new hiring. That could go toward standing up a U.S.-based call center, Vasquez said.

Regarding staffing, which won’t change in the short term, Wootton said in the same video that the company’s leaders did not want to “mess with” the company’s culture.

“Your employees, your team, are your most important people,” he said. “If you take care of them, they’ll take care of your customers.”

The companies declined to disclose the finances of the merger to the Washington Business Journal, which first reported the news.

The executive team of C3 and Steel Root (courtesy of C3)

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When: Dec 12, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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