Online and mobile firms strike 696 deals in the first quarter

April 13, 2015 09:19 AM

Online and mobile deal volume increased 4% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with Q4 2014 to 696 transactions from 670 transactions, reports investment bank Berkery, Noyes and Co. Reported deal value increased to $26.1 billion from $22.6 billion during this period. The online and mobile industry includes mergers and acquisitions in five subsegments, including e-commerce, software as a service and cloud, e-marketing and search, e-content and communications.

E-commerce transactions remained constant between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 with 148 mergers or acquisitions, Berkery reports. 148 transactions represents a 33% increase from the third quarter of 2014 when 111 transactions took place. In Q1 2014, Berkery reported 131 e-commerce transactions.

Software as a service and cloud reported an increase in transactions for the fifth consecutive quarter with a 17% rise from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015. It is the most active subsegment under the online and mobile industry, representing 30% of the industry’s activity this year, Berkery reports. Software as a service refers to software that a vendor hosts and its clients access over the web. Cloud refers to services that provide online access to data storage and computing capacity. Major players in that arena include Inc.’s Amazon Web Services as well as competing services from IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.

Four of the industry’s largest deals in Q1 2015 were in the e-commerce sector, including online travel agency Expedia Inc.’s acquisitions of Orbitz Worldwide for $1.7 billion and Travelocity for $208 million, Berkery reports.

Other major Q1 transactions include UnderArmour’s purchase of weight loss and nutrition tracking app MyFitnessPal for $474 million and Tokyo-based online marketplace Rakuten Inc.’s acquisition of e-book distributor OverDrive Inc. for $410 million.

Petsky Prunier, an investment banking firm, also reports an active quarter for digital media/commerce, with $12.6 billion in reported deal value for mergers and acquisitions and investment transactions. Digital media/commerce subsegments include e-commerce, mobile content/apps, social media/apps and gaming.

Among the first quarter transactions noted in the Petsky report is casual-social games company King Digital Entertainment’s $150 million acquisition of mobile gaming company Z2 Live Inc.

The mobile content/apps segments experienced a decline in the number of merger and acquisition and investment transactions from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015, from 97 to 91, and a 30% decline in the reported value of those transaction from $4.741 billion to $3.312 billion

Follow mobile business journalist April Dahlquist, associate editor, mobile, at Internet Retailer, at @MobileStrat360A.

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