Software transaction volume declined eight percent over the past three months, from 539 to 498. Deal value gained 15 percent, from $31.7 billion to $36.6 billion. This was the industry’s third consecutive quarterly increase in value.

Strategic acquirers completed nine of the top ten highest value software deals in Q1 2018. The industry’s largest transaction year-to-date was Salesforce’s announced acquisition of MuleSoft, which provides a platform for building application networks that connect enterprise apps, data, and devices, for $6.5 billion. This was the largest acquisition ever completed by Salesforce.

Deal volume in the “Niche Software” segment, which is targeted to specific vertical markets, decreased 17 percent in Q1 2018. This followed a nine percent rise in Q4 2017. In terms of value, the Niche segment accounted for seven of the overall industry’s top ten highest value deals year-to-date and was the best represented sector in the top ten list.

The Infrastructure segment experienced a 43 percent volume increase in Q1 2018, making it the sector with the largest rise in M&A activity over the past three months. The highest value transaction in the security sector during the quarter was LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ announced acquisition of ThreatMetrix, which provides cloud-based fraud prevention solutions, for $804 million.

The Business segment, which consists of software designed for general business practices and not specific industry markets, remained about constant on a quarterly basis. The Business segment’s highest value deal in Q1 2018 was SAP America’s announced acquisition of CallidusCloud, which offers cloud-based sales, marketing, learning, and customer experience solutions, for $2.4 billion.