2012 was not only a great year for start-ups, but also a popular year for acquisitions. Several hugely popular websites seemed to have gone on a shopping spree – buying up every company that they saw potential in. The average deal in 2012 was around $36 million with the majority of acquisitions occurring in Silicon Valley, New York and Chicago.
Facebook and Google are tied for most acquisitive companies of 2012, both website giants purchased 16 companies. Surprisingly, amidst rumors of Groupon’s downfall, the daily deal site bought 12 companies including Savored, a restaurant reservations and discount meal provider and Hyperpublic, which makes geolocation technology.
Privately owned company Twitter and $112 billion perennial acquirer, Cisco, both purchased 10 companies in 2012.
“Twitter actually buying as many companies last year as giant Cisco — and more than Apple, Oracle, SAP, Hewlett Packard, and other tech giants – that’s a first,” PrivCo chief executive officer Sam Hamadeh said in report by VentureBeat.
According to VentureBeat, PrivCo plans to release its full 400-page report on mergers and acquisitions of private tech companies on Feb. 14.
2012 was the biggest year for private tech company acquisitions since 2009, Hamadeh said in a VentureBeat article. Companies like Facebook and Twitter rose to the top in part due to the phenomenon of “aqui-hiring,” buying a company simply — or mostly — to acquire its employees. In Facebook’s case, PrivCo’s report highlights that a lot of that happened before its May IPO, which of course, was a major carrot to dangle in front of the targeted companies.
Software beat out Internet services for the top spot, PrivCo said to VentureBeat, with nearly 600 deals. Internet services ranked second with just over 400 deals, followed by communications, networking, and storage with about 300, and consulting with about 150. Silicon Valley was first in terms of number of deals, with 329. New York was second with 151, and Chicago ranked third at 81 acquisitions.