Between them, VMware and EMC were responsible for 7 acquisitions $100M or larger since 2010, including the billion-dollar acquisitions of AirWatch, Nicira Networks, and Virtustream.

Dell’s $67B acquisition of EMC this week marked the largest-ever M&A deal in the tech industry. But EMC, its subsidiary VMWare, and Dell have also been busy acquiring and investing in tech companies across the ecosystem.

Here’s a brief overview of their investment and M&A trends, which are unlikely to remain the same as they combine into one entity.

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Since 2010, Dell, VMWare, and EMC acquired just under 70 companies in aggregate. 2012 marked an M&A deal high for Dell, when it acquired Wyse, Sonicwall, and Quest Software among others. The same year was a high-water mark for EMC, which counted XtremIO, Syncplicity, and Silver Tail Systems among its 2012 acquisitions. VMWare M&A activity by frequency has been on the decline since 2010, as the chart below highlights.



Peeling back investments, EMC has increased its deal pace since 2010. EMC’s most recent investment was in internet security firm Zscaler‘s $100M round at a $1 billion valuation.

Dell, which invests through strategic arm Dell Ventures, saw a five-year high in number of investments in 2014, which included investments across security (Lastline, Cylance, Invincea) and storage (Skyera, Formation Data Systems, Nexenta).


How will Dell’s acquisition of EMC affect the M&A ecosystem for venture-backed companies? It’s still not fully clear whether Dell’s acquisition will result in fewer acquisitions by its newly acquired entities (or by Dell itself after such a large deal for EMC). But VMware and EMC were on their own responsible for seven acquisitions ≥$100M since 2010, including the billion-dollar acquisitions of AirWatch, Nicira Networks, and Virtustream.

EMC & VMWare’s Largest VC-backed Acquisitions Since 2010
Company Description Valuation ($M) Acquirer Select Investors
AirWatch Mobile device management 1540 VMWare Accel Partners, Insight Venture Partners
Nicira Networks Software-defined networking 1260 VMWare Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA
Virtustream Virtualization technology 1200 EMC Noro-Moseley Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Intel Capital, TDF Ventures, Columbia Capital, Blue Lagoon Capital
XtremIO Enterprise flash storage 430 EMC Lightspeed Venture Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Giza Venture Capital, Battery Ventures
ScaleIO Software-defined storage 250 EMC Norwest Venture Partners, 83North
Aveksa Identity access management 225 EMC CRV, FirstMark Capital, FTV Capital
Integrien Performance analytics 100 VMWare Clearstone Venture Partners, Tech Coast Angels, Acartha Technology Partners


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