Tech exits are up in 2014. That is undeniable. In fact, last year saw an increase of 35% of tech venture capital exited compared to the previous year. Business exits include initial public offerings (IPOs), acquisitions, and buyouts. Some major tech startup acquisitions took place last year as established businesses attempted to strengthen their position by acquiring new innovative and high growth startups. Here we look at the largest tech acquisitions of 2014.
Out of all the largest tech acquisitions in 2014, there are 3 that received a lot of attention. The first two are WhatsApp and Oculus VR, both of which were acquired by Facebook. Ranked as one of the largest tech acquisitions since HP bought Compaq for $25 billion in 2001, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion. As part of its spending spree, Facebook also acquired Oculus VR, the virtual reality company, for $2 billion. While both of these are not Facebook’s only acquisitions in 2014, they are both so large that they both make it among the highest that year, emphasizing the company’s appetite for innovative startups.
The final one of the 3 that received a lot of press coverage is Nest Labs which was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion. This deal is important not just because of the fact that Google made the purchase but because it’s a huge step towards ensuring that Google becomes THE smart home company for millions of customers around the world.
Beyond these top 3 tech acquisitions, what stands out from this infographic is the fact that of the largest tech acquisitions around the world, is the continued dominance of American businesses. The lowest valued acquisition in the top 5 in the United States last year was worth $1.8 billion (Alios BioPharma) while the most valuable in Europe was only %527 million (NaturalMotion Games) and $340 million in Asia (Myntra Designs).
Is tech investment moving to Asia? We’ve seen that it is. So the dominance of the United States in the value of acquisitions shouldn’t last for too much longer. It’s only a matter of time before Asian-based startups start to grow to a size that makes them equally as attractive as their American counterparts.