One of the nicest compliments I've received over the years came from a company founder who read one of my reports and said I'd summarized his company's work better than they did. It's just one of the things I do—take a pile of information and figure out what it's about. I summarize. So if you need to tease out the short version of something complicated, call me. But I've also been accumulating data on an industry for years, which gives me the material for a different view—the annual recap. Roll tape…
The Year in M&A, Social Media Analysis 2014
I've been tracking companies that extract meaning from social media data since 2006 (it stays interesting if you let the definitions evolve with the market). One way to tell how things are changing is to watch where the money goes, and in 2014, more money flowed to consolidation. VC and PE money funded multiple acquisitons by companies staking out hoped-for prominent positions. Big companies tucked SMA into their products and portfolios, and smaller companies chose "buy" over "build" for key capabilities.
Add some actual mergers and a few acquihires, and we get more transactions than in 2013. In other news, it takes longer to write a recap of 38 deals than one with 18 deals, which is how a year-end post shows up in early January. :-)
More Than $420 Million Invested in Social Media Analysis Companies in 2014
New investments in SMA companies were slightly below 2013 levels in dollar terms, although when you consider deals of unannounced size, we're probably close to the window of uncertainty on that. Some of that money has gone to fund acquisitions, and anybody who took a round of more than $20 million bears watching, but we're also still seeing funding for interesting and innovative companies in the space where social media and data analysis intersect.
Based on the last year's investment activity, look for continued product innovation and market evolution, in addition to ongoing consolidation.
So here's a summary: The opportunities in social media analysis are evolving, and heavy bags of money are being directed toward exploiting them. For the long version and its application to your situation, contact me about becoming a client.