NEW YORK — April 6, 2015 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its Q1 2015 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 2015 and compares it with the past four quarters.
According to Berkery Noyes’ research, deal volume saw a four percent uptick in Q1 2015. This was its third straight quarterly increase. Total transaction value gained 15 percent over the past three months, from $22.6 billion to $26.1 billion.
SaaS & Cloud volume increased for the fifth consecutive quarter with a 17 percent rise in Q1 2015. This was the segment’s largest quarter-to-quarter increase during the last five quarters. It also remained the most active Online and Mobile market, representing 30 percent of the industry’s aggregate volume year-to-date. E-Marketing & Search volume fell nine percent in Q1 2015, which marked a return to its Q4 2014 level.
E-Commerce deal activity remained about constant in Q1 2015. This followed a 33 percent gain in Q4 2014. Moreover, the E-Commerce segment represented four of the overall industry’s top ten largest deals in thus far in 2015. Online travel giant Expedia was responsible for two notable segment transactions, acquiring rival Orbitz Worldwide for $1.7 billion and Travelocity.com for $280 million. These deals highlight the significant consolidation that has occurred in the travel sector, leaving Expedia and Priceline as the two dominant U.S. based online travel agencies. It also continues a trend of major search sites being acquired in the sector over the past several years, such as Priceline’s acquisition of Kayak.com for $1.5 billion and Expedia’s acquisition of Trivago for $506 million, both of which occurred in Q4 2012.
As for other areas of the E-Commerce segment, there were several high profile acquirers in the online payments sector during Q1 2015. For instance, Optimal Payments acquired digital payments business Skrill Group for $1.7 billion; Davis + Henderson Corporation acquired payments and transaction banking software company FundTech for $1.3 billion; PayPal acquired cloud-based payment processor Paydiant for $280 million; Samsung acquired digital wallet solution company LoopPay; and Visa acquired targeted promotions and payments technology platform TrialPay.
Meanwhile, the number of transactions in the consumer application subsector increased 18 percent on a quarterly basis, from 57 to 67. Clothing manufacturer Under Armour completed two mobile-based deals in Q1 2015 relating to digital health data, nutrition information, and fitness tracking. This consisted of MyFitnessPal for $475 million and Endomondo for $85 million. These two transactions will build upon Under Armour’s previous acquisition of MapMyFitness for $150 million in 2013.
In terms of notable new mobile-based acquirers, technology and transportation company Uber acquired deCarta, a mapping and local search platform. With this transaction, Uber might be looking to move away from Google Maps and other external products as Google potentially seeks to launch its own driving service at some point. Another high profile deal in this space was Ola’s acquisition of taxi rental aggregator TaxiforSure for $200 million. Ola is the largest mobile taxi application in India and one of Uber’s main rivals in the region.
Regarding the Communications segment, transaction volume rose 16 percent. This also marked a 40 percent improvement compared to its Q1 2014 level. In addition, there were several recent transactions in the segment pertaining to governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), such as Smarsh’s acquisition of Presensoft, a provider of archiving and compliance solutions. “Relative to compliance, the instant messages, e-mails and other electronic communications and documents brought inside the four walls must adhere to appropriate records management,” said Peter Ognibene, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “This includes policies to meet with regulatory and/or discovery requirements.” Ognibene continued, “Many organizations are still creating comprehensive policies for this information and have not yet implemented solutions to address them. As a result, the environment for M&A activity in the GRC sector remains strong.”
A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2015 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.