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Number of digital commerce deals skyrockets & food delivery companies raise record amounts, says latest Hampleton report

News, Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, SaaS & Cloud, Media, AI
  • 1,037 M&A deals in the first half of 2021 across the Digital Commerce sector
  • D2C food and grocery players have raised $10 billion in venture capital over past 18 months

London, UK – 24 August 2021. The Digital Commerce M&A sector registered 1,037 deals in the first half of 2021 – a 25 per cent increase from 787 in the same period last year – according to the latest market report from Hampleton Partners, the international technology mergers and acquisitions advisors.

M&A and fundraising activity across all segments of the Digital Commerce space has skyrocketed, propelled by the great shift online and continued interest from financial sponsors.


Food delivery space sees record venture capital amounts raised

Young “e-food” companies founded in response to or spurred by Covid-19 and lockdowns have benefited from megarounds and monumental seed and Series A funding rounds. 

Overall, in the past 18 months the sector has seen over $10 billion raised across segments such as “Fresh food, meal kits & boxes”, “Online supermarkets”, “Delivery services” and other tangentially related spaces, such as software for food delivery firms.

Most recently, in July, German technology company Choco, which provides an ordering platform to connect restaurants and suppliers, raised $100m in Series B funding to build a sustainable food supply chain. 

Meanwhile, Asia’s appetite for food delivery is also growing: in July, Licious, a Bangalore-based startup that sells fresh meat and seafood online, raised $192 million to expand its footprint beyond the South Asian market.


Gaming acquirers dominate leaderboard

Over the past year, transaction count in the Media, Social & Gaming segment increased dramatically, with 243 deals recorded in 1H2021 compared to an average 100 deals between 2016 and 2019. 

Of the top eight most active acquirers over the past 30 months, three were games companies: 

  • First, with 25 acquisitions, was Embracer Group which recently acquired Appeal Studios SA, KAIKO GmbH and Massive Miniteam GmbH.
  • Fourth, with eight acquisitions, was Stillfront Group which recently acquired Moonfrog Labs, Everguild and Super Free Games 
  • Fifth, with eight acquisitions, was Keywords Studios which recently acquired Climax Studios, Tantalus Media and gNet Media 


The future of Digital Commerce M&A

Ralph Hübner continued: “Looking forward, we anticipate that the ‘e-food’ and ‘quick delivery’ hype will compel more market stakeholders and classic retail brands to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Oetker, Beiersdorf, Henkel, Rewe or Nestlé and invest time and money into D2C brands and operations 

“Ultimately, D2C software and service providers will continue to flourish, raising large amounts and realising possible M&A exits further down the line.”


Hampleton Partners’ Digital Commerce M&A report

Hampleton’s Digital Commerce M&A report analyses transactions, trends and activity across the following segments: Internet Services & Portals; Online Retail; Media, Social & Gaming, Agencies & Service Providers; and Digital Commerce Software. 

Download the full Hampleton Partners’ Digital Commerce M&A Market Report 2H2021:



Note to Editors

Hampleton Partners’ M&A Market Reports are compiled using data and information from the 451 Research database (, CapitalIQ; Financial Technology Partners and CB Insights.



About Hampleton Partners

Hampleton Partners is at the forefront of international mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance advisory for companies with technology at their core. Hampleton’s experienced deal makers have built, bought and sold over 100 fast-growing tech businesses and provide hands-on expertise and unrivalled advice to tech entrepreneurs and companies which are looking to accelerate growth and maximise value.

With offices in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm and San Francisco, Hampleton offers a global perspective with sector expertise in: Artificial Intelligence, Autotech, Cybersecurity, Digital Commerce, Enterprise Software, Fintech, Healthtech, HR Tech, Insurtech and IT & Business Services.

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