New research from Nathan Gilliatt of Social Target has revealed that companies in the ‘social media analysis’ sector changed ownership 21 times in 2019 — down slightly from 2018’s figures.
The majority of transactions remain ‘portfolio plays’, i.e. companies adding to their technology and services capabilities.
The vast majority of companies in social media analysis remain privately held, but the occasional company makes the move to the public market—or back. In 2019, we saw one of each: an IPO for Sprout Social and a private buyout for Cision.
The latter also picked up Unmetric, plus Falcon.io and TrendKite in 2019, both of which had been acquirers in 2018. Cision leads the acquisitions chart with a total of 19 acquired companies, including companies bought by companies that Cision later rolled up. The rest of the top five were quiet in 2019: Meltwater (14), Sprinklr (9), Hootsuite (8) and Twitter (8).
Gilliat said: “The development of portfolio strategies has been fascinating to watch, as the menu board of perceived synergies and all-in-one packages keeps changing. Access Intelligence filled the social media gap in its catalog for PR, marketing and communications with Pulsar. NICE took Brand Embassy to add the digital to its customer experience platform. Brandwatch bought Qriously to marry solicited market research with social media analysis.
“AirPR renamed itself Onclusive and added Ozmotic to its earned media toolset. Intrado (formerly West) bought Notified and started bundling in features from other acquisitions to build a one-stop platform for PR. After buying Nuvi in 2018, Brickfish adopted the Nuvi name and expanded its social media management business into healthcare with Banyan.”
Gilliatt also highlights several tech-based deals, with Conversocial opening new channels of communication with Assist, Cheetah Digital going to the zero-party data source at Wayin, and Easiware picking up machine learning and text analytics in Dictanova.
FigBytes added online engagement and insights from Unison for its sustainability platform, while Trufan picked audience segmentation and advisers from SocialRank. Finally, Mavrck secured influencer search and data in GroupHigh.
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