NEW YORK — April 10, 2019 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its Q1 2019 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Online and Mobile Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity in the Online and Mobile Industry during Q1 2019 and compares it with the past four quarters.
According to Berkery Noyes’ research, transaction volume saw a two percent uptick over the past three months. Total deal value declined 17 percent, from $55.7 billion to $46.2 billion, which was the same as its Q3 2018 level. M&A activity improved 19 percent and value gained 44 percent on a year-over-year basis.
SaaS & Cloud segment volume experienced an 11 percent from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019. High profile segment transactions in the finance vertical year-to-date included Thoma Bravo’s announced acquisition of Ellie Mae, a software provider for the residential mortgage sector, for $3.7 billion; BlackRock’s announced acquisition of eFront, an alternative investment management software and solutions provider, for $1.3 billion; Bridgepoint’s announced acquisition of a majority stake in Kyriba, which offers treasury management software for corporate finance executives, for $1.2 billion; and Morgan Stanley’s announced acquisition of Solium Capital, which offers stock plan administration technology and services, for $749 million.
E-Content volume increased 45 percent in Q1 2019, making it the sector with the largest rise in M&A activity over the past three months. Notable segment transactions during the past quarter included Viacom’s acquisition of Pluto TV, a free streaming television service, for $340 million; Indian edtech company Byju’s acquisition of Osmo, a developer of learning apps for kids, for $120 million; Spotify’s announced acquisitions of Gimlet Media, which operates a network of narrative podcasts, Parcast, a storytelling-driven podcast studio, and Anchor FM, which offers podcast creation, publishing, and monetization services; and Lonely Planet’s acquisition of ArrivalGuides, a distributor of destination information and city guides.
E-Commerce deal activity declined five percent on a quarterly basis but gained 18 percent relative to Q1 2018. Notable acquirers in the segment year-to-date included Airbnb with the acquisitions of Hotel Tonight, which facilitates mobile booking of same-day unsold hotel inventory, and Gaest, an online marketplace for renting out meeting spaces; and MasterCard with the acquisitions of Ethoca, which help merchants and card issuers identify and resolve fraud in digital commerce, and Transfast, a global cross-border account-to-account money transfer network.
E-Marketing & Search volume fell 27 percent in Q1 2019. This followed a seven percent increase in Q4 2018. Cision was a notable segment acquirer during the quarter with the acquisitions of TrendKite, a digital PR platform, for $221 million; and Falcon.io, a social media management company, for $126 million. Other Notable E-Marketing & Search deals year-to-date included Taptica’s announced acquisition of RhythmOne, tech-enabled digital media company that connects online audiences with brands through premium content across devices, for $162 million; and SurveyMonkey’s announced acquisition of Usabilla, which makes software that collects customer feedback about website issues, for $81 million. “Digital video is impacting traditional media buying practices, social media networks are looking to effectively monetize digital ads, and mobile marketers are trying to engage their audience with more targeted offerings,” said Vineet Asthana, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes.
As for the industry’s mobile application sector, the number of transactions decreased 13 percent on a quarterly basis but improved seven percent year-over-year. The largest mobile related deal in Q1 2019 was Uber’s announced acquisition of its Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion. This was the highest value deal ever completed by Uber and occurred as the ride-hailing giant prepares for an imminent IPO.
Other high profile acquirers of mobile-based companies during the quarter included: The Boeing Company with the acquisition of ForeFlight, an integrated flight app that offers flight planning, aviation weather, maps, and charts; VMWare with the announced acquisition of AetherPal, which develops and markets mobile device optimization software solutions; American Express with the acquisitions of LoungeBuddy, which allows travelers to discover, book, and access airport lounges around the world; and Pocket Concierge, a premium restaurant reservation platform that provides access to high-end restaurants in Japan; and Volkswagen Financial Services with the acquisition of a majority stake in Truck Parking Europe, which helps truckers and planning managers find and book secure parking locations through its mobile and web apps.
A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2019 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.