It’s not your imagination: merger and acquisition activity did rise sharply towards the end of last year. Investment bank LUMA reports that fourth quarter media and martech deals were up 21% compared to the year before, (97 vs 80) even though deals were down by 45% for the first three quarters (149 vs 270). Martech deals dropped 60% in the first three quarters but bounced back for a 6% year-on-year gain in the fourth quarter.
Strong stock prices and a weak economy make it easier for big companies to buy tech than build it. For example, say you’re Hootsuite (not public, but highly valued) and you’d like to expand into customer support. Why build an agent messaging platform when you can buy Sparkcentral? In fact, they just did.
Or imagine you’re red-hot virtual events startup Hopin, with a $2.1 billion valuation, and you want to upgrade your live video streaming tech by buying StreamYard. A $250 million price is no object even though you bought social networking app Topia a few weeks ago. Sure it’s a bubble, but wheeee!
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