7 Major Tech Takeovers of 2022
2022 has been a rollercoaster for the tech industry, but that was to be expected. After all, this was the year we emerged from the pandemic-fuelled reorganisation of everyday life which had had such an impact on tech use and, consequently, tech investment in 2020 and 2021.
The readjustment has inevitably affected markets across various tech verticals. Add in other factors like inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions and armed conflict in Ukraine, and we had a year that was blustery with headwinds.
All that being said, M&A activity was reassuringly robust in many sectors, with numerous notable deals taking place over the course of the year. Let’s look back at seven that featured in our M&A reports.
1 Thoma Bravo acquires Anaplan
As shown in our market report (download it here), the Enterprise Software space has been a hive of M&A activity in recent times. Indeed, there were record-breaking deal volumes in both 2H2021 and 1H2022, with acquirer interest remaining strong in the face of this year’s headwinds. A motivating factor is that many Enterprise Software firms operate an SaaS model, providing acquirers with recurring revenue streams during market downturns.
A major SaaS acquisition target was Anaplan, whose cloud-based platform allows for real-time performance management, optimising everything from budgeting and forecasting to supply planning. Anaplan was snapped up by software investment firm Thoma Bravo for $10.4 billion in one of the biggest Enterprise Software deals of 2022.
2 EcoOnline acquires StaySafe
The increasing need for companies to comply with regulations regarding sustainability and good corporate governance has led to an uptick in demand for efficient ESG-related software solutions. This demand has also been bolstered by growing awareness among senior executives that they must be able to clearly demonstrate their ESG credentials in order to pass the screening process of potential investors.
As a result, M&A deals targeting firms providing ESG companies hit an all-time high in 2022. One highly innovative company acquired this year is StaySafe, which focuses on the ‘social’ component of ESG. It provides cloud-based monitoring of remote workers, allowing employees to fulfil their duty of care by checking their staff are safe when they work, travel, and meet with clients alone. As noted in our ESG report (downloadable here), StaySafe was acquired by workplace safety firm EcoOnline for $27 million earlier this year.
3 Descrypto acquires OpenLocker
If there was one tech sector that really bore the brunt of macroeconomic and geopolitical pressures in 2022, it was Digital Commerce. Broken supply chains, surging interest rates and changing patterns of consumer spending, with people returning to bricks-and-mortar stores after the unprecedented reliance on e-commerce, have all contributed to a drop in M&A volumes, relative to 2020 and 2021.
However, as pointed out in our Digital Commerce report (which you can read here), the deal volume in Q3 2022 exceeded the average recorded between 2016 and 2019, implying that activity in the sector has reverted to the pre-pandemic norm. There have also been many notable deals this year, with a lot of interest in social and gaming firms. A case in point is the acquisition of sports NFT platform OpenLocker by Descrypto Holdings for $5 million.
4 Kin + Carta acquires Melon AD
As with the Enterprise Software sector, there’s been robust activity targeting IT & Business Services companies, reflecting the permanent shift to digitalisation in the corporate world. As detailed in our IT & Business Services M&A report (get it here), CIOs are increasingly relying on outsourced software services to make up for a shortfall in IT staffing levels and a general skills gap among employees.
The first half of 2022 saw a 17% increase in deals targeting IT outsourced services firms, compared to the latter half of 2021. An example transaction in this subsector was digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta’s purchase of software development company Melon AD for $24 million. Melon’s team of web, mobile and data specialists, based throughout Bulgaria, Macedonia and Kosovo, has made the acquisition a vital part of Kin + Carta’s strategy for European expansion.
5 Cars.com acquires Accu-Trade
Few industries have been as spectacularly disrupted as the automotive sector has been in recent years. The take-up of electric vehicles and the all-round digitalisation of driving (think software controlling everything from vehicle performance to on-board entertainment) has opened up a wealth of opportunities for tech firms of every stripe.
Our Autotech report (which you can download here) has identified four main subsectors of interest to acquirers, with the majority of deals targeting companies which create enterprise applications like CRM software and dealership management systems. One such deal was the $65 million purchase of Accu-Trade Group by automotive marketplace Cars.com. Accu-Trade’s platform provides a host of tools for car dealers, including VIN-specific vehicle appraisals and valuation data, so the acquisition has significantly expanded Cars.com’s end-to-end capabilities.
6 Celero acquires OMEGA
Fintech remains a booming sector, with a steep rise in M&A activity in 2022. Indeed, the first half of the year saw a hefty 70% increase in deals compared to the equivalent period in 2019. Our newest Fintech report (read it here) has highlighted megatrends within the sector, including the surge in customers using open banking services, and the increasingly integral role played by AI.
One company specialising in AI-based fintech is OMEGA Processing Solutions, which was snapped up at the start of 2022 by Celero Commerce, for an undisclosed figure. OMEGA’s clever technology provides payments solutions, business analytics and other tools for both small businesses and financial institutions. It inhabits the subsector – namely, financial management solutions – which attracted the bulk of M&A deals this year.
7 Aareon acquires Momentum
The likes of Zoopla, Airbnb, Compass and Black Knight have been among the key players in the proptech sector, and our report (downloadable here) has delved into numerous trends shaking up the industry. These include increased implementation of AR/VR, advances in property management software, and machine learning. A key point underscored in the report is that M&A activity is set to rise as fragmented property tech gradually consolidates to offer end-to-end solutions.
One of the big transactions of 2022 was the purchase of Momentum, purveyors of cloud-based property management and energy monitoring software, by leading proptech company Aareon. The $164.2 million deal between two Sweden-based companies is an example of how consolidation in this burgeoning space is fast progressing.