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7 Things That Happened In Tech in 2022

IT Services & Outsourcing, Fintech, Autotech, Enterprise Software, E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, News

Well, it’s certainly been a dramatic year in tech, and we’re not just talking about the world’s richest man walking into Twitter HQ holding a sink in his hands. Aside from such headline-making industry shake-ups, there’s understandably been much media commentary about the extent to which investments, valuations and M&A deals have been impacted by the world’s adjustment to the post-pandemic landscape. 

While there’s been no shortage of opinion pieces weighing in on what’s been a turbulent year, our analysts at Hampleton have been diligently assessing the broader picture, publishing a series of in-depth reports which explore the data behind the headlines and highlight the significant trends that are worth knowing about. Now, as we fast approach 2023, it’s a good time to glance over some of the most notable M&A revelations we’ve drawn attention to over the year. 


1. Cars have become more like smartphones

One of the megatrends noted in our newest Autotech market report is the rise and rise of ‘over-the-air’ connectivity. Updates of operating systems controlling things like vehicle performance and on-board entertainment are increasingly able to take place online, in exactly the same way as system updates on your phone. Legacy companies have followed Tesla’s lead when it comes to implementing this hassle-free way to keep cars up to date, with Volvo rolling out ‘over-the-air’ across its fleet this year. We recently wrote a blog delving into the car-as-smartphone phenomenon, which you can read here.


2. ESG reporting has become crucial for companies

Meeting ESG targets can no longer be thought of as a kind of philanthropic, optional extra for companies. After all, sustainability, corporate responsibility and good governance are among the key metrics used by investors to assess businesses they want to become involved in. That’s why there’s been louder noise than ever about the importance of accurate ESG reporting. And this has led to a corresponding surge in interest in tech firms which provide tools for exactly that. 

As pointed out in our newest ESG market report, the first half of 2022 saw a record number of M&A deals involving ESG firms, with one of the biggest deals being the $1.2 billion acquisition of ETQ – a Massachusetts company which automates the collection of manufacturing quality control data and customer feedback.


3. Enterprise Software companies defied the downturn

Financial turbulence and decreased market confidence absolutely had a knock-on effect on global M&A activity in 2022, but some sectors remained more than resilient in the face of such pressures. A standout example is Enterprise Software. Earlier this year, we noted a record-breaking number of transactions involving firms in this space. Indeed, our newest report described it as a ‘frenzy’ of interest by acquirers, who have been attracted by the prospect of SaaS-based recurring revenue streams. You can find out more about why Enterprise Software appears to be downturn-proof in our blog on the subject, published back in September. 


4. Visma became the top Fintech acquirer

Earlier this year, Norwegian business software company Visma became the single biggest acquirer in Fintech. It closed six deals in 1H2022 alone, making a total of 17 Fintech deals since 2019. Visma has been substantially more prolific than the next biggest acquirer, Payroc, which closed nine deals in that same period. Visma’s acquisitions have included invoice processing software firm Lyanthe, and e-commerce SaaS purveyors Grupo Calipso. You can read more about Visma’s activities, and about wider trends in Fintech, in our market report.


5. The IT & Business Services sector had a very strong year

One of the eye-catching figures in our IT & Business Services report is ‘92%’. This is how many more deals were completed in the first half of 2022, compared to the year before. Indeed, 1H2022 saw the largest number of IT & Business Services transactions for a six-month period since our records began. It reflects a huge appetite for such services among companies which, due to issues relating to inflation, geopolitical risk and IT staffing shortages, have increasingly switched from IT ownership to IT service sourcing.  


6. Online pet supplies retail was a booming subsector within e-commerce

The Digital Commerce sector saw a steep drop in M&A deals in 2022, with investors and acquirers reacting to a post-pandemic shift in consumer spending habits. But one e-commerce vertical that’s done remarkably well this year is online pet supplies retail, which has continued to thrive beyond the overall pandemic-fuelled spike in online sales. 

Our newest Digital Commerce discusses two acquisitions in this space by pet supplies platform Worldwise, which has hugely expanded its portfolio of products and its e-commerce footprint. Download the report in full for our complete overview of how the Digital Commerce sector in general has dealt with a challenging year.


7. Proptech activity exceeded expectations

2022 has seen confidence in the property market dented, with soaring inflation and interest rates negatively affecting consumer demand. Industry onlookers may therefore have expected to see a corresponding decrease in proptech M&A activity, but not at all. Indeed, the first half of 2022 saw the second highest number of deals recorded in any half-year period since 1H2017. 

This is down to a stark need for software solutions across the real estate and construction industries, which has driven acquirer interest despite market headwinds. As our report on the sector reveals, Enterprise Software within real estate has attracted the highest proportion of deals, with CRM and SCM solutions providers being particularly targeted.