Exits in the social monitoring and analytics space are mostly smaller tuck-ins as late-stage financing dries up.
Based on sagging venture capital tallies and a limp exit environment, the social media monitoring fad seems to have run its course. In the last year, companies that provide tools to monitor and analyze social media hauled in nearly $128M across 25 deals. This represented a significant decline on both funding and deals which were down 39.9% and 28.6% year-over-year (YoY) respectively.
On the exit front, Salesforce’s $326 million acquisitions of Radian6 in 2011 was one of the largest exits of a social media monitoring company and as might be expected, it ushered in a lot of investment into the space. Last year saw 11 exits of social media monitoring firms, and while the level of exit activity hasn’t plummeted, the acquisitions in the last year haven’t been much to write home about. They have consisted primarily of smaller, early stage companies who never achieved adoption and who are getting acquired primarily for talent or technology – the prototypical acqui-hire – often by other startups.
Examples include Harrison Metal-backed Swaylo which was acquired by PeopleBrowsr and VoterTide which was acquired by MindMixer. Acquired social monitoring companies in Q1’13 raised an average of $13M prior to acquisition.
If you’re a social media monitoring company, industry headwinds may make finding a suitor willing to invest in or acquire you may get more difficult as time goes on.