2014 saw a huge increase in the number of tech exits (M&A and IPO) compared to 2013 and some of this activity was driven by a select group of very busy corporate development groups. So which acquirers were scooping up the most companies?
We used CB Insights data to analyze who the top tech acquirers were of 2014.
When we list the acquirers by rank, we see that Google has reclaimed the top acquirer spot after Yahoo dominated 2013 with it’s acqui-hire spree. j2 Global drastically increased their rate of M&A, acquiring 15 companies in 2014 which was a 400% increase from the year before. Dropbox had the highest rank among private companies, which included the acquisitions of MobileSpan, Parastructure, and Droptalk.
In terms of early stage acquirers, the list is populated by large tech corporations acquiring young companies for their technology or their talent – yes, the proverbial acqui-hire remains popular. Google was the most active early stage acquirer, buying 13 companies across a wide spectrum of industries with targets ranging from Songza to Lift Labs.
Google dominated acquisitions in both the Internet and Mobile space, with more than 10 acquisitions in each sector. UST Global, a provider of IT services and solutions was the main acquirer of Hardware companies in 2014, which included Xpanxion and Renaissance Solutions. While there was no single dominant acquire of Software companies, there were more than 425 acquisitions in the space in 2014. Want to track acquirer activity and tech exits data? Sign up for our tech M&A and IPO database below.