E-commerce acquisition activity has heated up. Overall, there were nearly twice as many e-commerce startup exits in 2014 as in the previous year. And in general, the annual trend has been positive: There were 11 e-commerce exits in 2011, 29 in 2012, 23 in 2013, and 42 in 2014. There were 17 exits in Q1’15 alone. If that rhythm continues, 2015 will surpass 2014 in total venture-backed e-commerce exits.
But IPOs still account for a fraction of exits. Although there were 7 venture-backed e-commerce IPOs in 2014 — more than twice the amount in 2013 — there have been none in Q1’15 amid an overall “IPO drought” for venture-backed companies.
The quarterly breakdown gives a better view into the overall exit trends. From 2010 to 2011, the average number of exits per quarter was 2.88. Between 2012 and 2013 period, the average climbed to 6.5 quarterly exits, and in the 2014 to Q1’15 period the average was 12 exits. The strongest single quarter for exits was Q3’14, which saw the IPO of Alibaba and the acquisitions of Luvocracy and Ebates. Q1’15 is the second-strongest quarter with 17 exits, including those of Fab.com and Nonabox.
A handful of investors have seen more than 6 exits among their e-commerce portfolio companies. Holtzbrinck Ventures tops the list for the most exits between 2010 and Q1’15. Its biggest IPO was Zalando‘s in 2014 and its biggest merger was Dafiti’s into Global Fashion Group in 2014. Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins are in second place with close to 10 exits each. Accel Partners’ largest acquisition exit was India-based Myntra (acquired by Flipkart in 2014). Kleiner Perkins saw at least 3 of its e-commerce companies IPO in 2013 and 2014.
|2||Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers|
|3||Tiger Global Management|
|3||JPMorgan Chase & Co.|
|3||Insight Venture Partners|
Below is a list of the top exits based on valuation at time of exit (among companies where valuation was disclosed). Of the top 10, 4 companies are China-based, 4 are US-based, 1 is Germany-based, and 1 is UK-based. Alibaba Group’s $167.6B valuation at exit tops the list. Jingdong is second on the list at $28.6B.
|5||Jumei International Holdings|
The next list shows exited companies that received the most funding. Jingdong tops the list with $2.8B in funding, followed by Alibaba with $1.7B. Notably, only 4 out of 10 of the most well-funded exited companies also appear in the largest exits list.
Want more data on e-commerce startups? Check out our venture capital database below.