Private companies have become major acquirers of tech companies. In 2015, 736 companies were acquired by private companies compared to 350 in 2011.
With companies staying private longer and having access to much deeper pools of capital, we expect private companies to remain an important acquirer. However, there appears to be a pullback in activity now which reflecting a tougher late stage financing market leading to more caution.
Dropbox has been the most active acquirer of other private companies, with more than 20 acquisitions including buying Clementine, Umano, and CloudOn this year. Infor, a software company targeting mid-sized enterprises, was second with 17 acquisitions. Rocket Internet-backed Foodpanda and Delivery Hero have been rolling up other food-delivery startups around the world, making a combined 25 disclosed acquisitions of other private companies. India’s private company ecosystem has also seen well-funded players scoop up other startups. India-based Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Zomato all made the list. Pinterest has increased its activity significantly, making 9 of its 14 acquisitions from 2015 to 8/30/2016. In all, 18 still-private companies have made at least 8 acquisitions of other private companies.