In September 2018, together with Crunchbase, we published our Tech Startup M&As: 2018 Report, shedding some light over the main global M&A market trends. We’ve tracked about 22,000 startup exits worldwide, for a total deal value of about $1.2 trillion. After a strong increase in the 2016-2017 timeframe, we recorded a consolidation of both the number of global exits and deal value.
As established companies look to remain competitive and extend their life cycle, acquisition becomes a more viable and attractive strategy. Not the only one1, but surely the fastest route in a world when time is the most valuable resource. M&A deals are a boon for startups as well. No exit, no party, as we’re used to saying. While launching a thriving self-supporting business is still the end-goal for any startup, a buyout from a large company can render that problem irrelevant—or at least less urgent. And return the capital to investors, hopefully with a decent multiplier, thus, M&As are a key component of the startup economy.
Mind the Bridge and Crunchbase (with the support of Orrick) have tracked over 15,500 startup exits worldwide since 2010 for a total value of about 1.3 trillion dollars. The US and Europe still control the majority of deals and capital (83%), with Silicon Valley running the show: the top 15 world acquirers are all US companies with 9 from Silicon Valley.
The common wisdom is that acquisitions have played a central role in Silicon Valley’s success, and that buying startups is one of the fastest ways for companies to embrace disruption and keep innovating.