LLR Partners, a $1.4 billion-asset, Philadelphia-based investment fund that counts Pennsylvania's state pension systems among its investors, has bought part of the $6 million investment made by $800 million-asset NewSpring Capital, Radnor, two years ago in Columbia, MD-based Message Systems, a $40 million (estimated yearly sales) digital-messaging provider that counts Facebook, Match.com, PayPal, VerticalResponse and dozens of other online commerce firms among its clients. 

LLR paid double the price NewSpring paid in 2010 on a per-share basis. Both firms expect to more than double their current investment in the next few years, according to sources familiar with the pricing. 
Message Systems sales have quadrupled in the past two years, and the firm is profitable.  LLR also bought additional stakes from other early Message Systems owners.

Message Systems is the third Washington-area company backed by LLR since the firm hired David Siegel to help broaden its focus beyond the Philadelphia region last year.