Amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic, 2021 followed in the footsteps of its predecessor, continuing to be an unpredictable, and at times incredibly difficult, year. But one thing that stayed constant was the steady flow of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) across the tech sector.
According to research by Global Data, global tech M&A deals had already neared $3 trillion by Q3, largely supported by the tech, media, and telecom sectors. Although nothing rivalled Xilinx’s $35 billion acquisition of Advanced Micro Devices in 2020, last year did see Intuit buy Mailchimp for $12 billion and Square splash out a princely sum — $29 billion — for Afterpay.
As for whether 2022 will maintain last year’s pace, early signs seem to suggest there will be no slowing of big deals across the industry, with cybersecurity and collaboration software already proving to be hot areas.
Here are the biggest enterprise technology acquisitions of 2022 so far, in reverse chronological order:
September 14: SandboxAQ acquires Cryptosense
Enterprise SaaS company SandboxAQ, has confirmed its acquisition of cybersecurity and encryption analysis software company, Cryptosense.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Paris, Cryptosense provides security software that allows users to detect and correct vulnerabilities caused by misuse of cryptography in applications.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the announcement comes just weeks after SandboxAQ unveiled its Strategic Investment Program and initial investment in Canadian quantum cybersecurity company, evolutionQ.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Jack D. Hidary, CEO of SandboxAQ, said: “The combined leadership, talent, and expertise that SandboxAQ and Cryptosense bring to the marketplace accelerates the deployment of more effective cryptography solutions to protect the world against the security threats of today and tomorrow.”
September 2: UK’s Competition and Markets Authority clears NortonLifeLock-Avast merger
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has officially cleared the $6 billion acquisition of Avast by Arizona-based NortonLifeLock.
The deal hit a regulatory roadblock in March when the CMA announced it would be investigating the proposed purchase, citing concerns it would damage the competitiveness of the UK cybersecurity market, potentially leading to a worse deal for UK consumers on security software.
However, following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the CMA determined that: “The merging businesses will continue to face sufficient competition after the deal completes and has concluded that the merger does not raise competition concerns.”
As a result of the CMA ruling, the deal, which has already been given regulatory approval in the US and Germany, is expected to close this month.
August 26: OpenText buys Micro Focus
OpenText has announced its acquisition of British software and consultancy company Micro Focus for $6 billion.
Micro Focus is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions, having bought multiple legacy software companies such as Borland, Novell and Cobol-IT during its 46 year history. In 2016, the company made a $8.8 billion deal to merge with HPE’s software business segment.
In the statement about the deal, OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea said the company is looking forward to welcoming Micro Focus customers, partners and employees into the fold. “Customers of OpenText and Micro Focus will benefit from a partner that can even more effectively help them accelerate their digital transformation efforts by unlocking the full value of their information assets and core systems,” he said.
August 1: UiPath acquires natural language processing company Re:infer
Enterprise automation software firm UiPath, announced its acquisition of Re:infer, a London-based natural language processing company for unstructured documents and communications.
Founded in 2015 by Ph.D. scientists from UCLA, Re:infer uses machine-learning technology to mine context from messages and transform them into actionable data. As a result of the acquisition, Re:infer’s features are already available to UiPath customers in private preview, with further integration plans set to be announced later this year.
The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but in a statement announcing the purchase, Ted Kummert, executive vice president for products and engineering at UiPath, said: “Combining Re:infer’s NLP technology with our Document Understanding and AI products expands the breadth of our current AI-powered automation capabilities and unlocks new automation opportunities for our customers.”
July 21: Amazon to acquire One Medical in all-cash deal
Amazon announced its intent to purchase One Medical, which runs a membership-based primary care platform, in a $3.9 billion all-cash deal, inclusive of debt.
One Medical previously raised $532.1 million over 11 rounds of funding, including investments from The Carlyle Group and backing from Google’s parent company Alphabet. One Medical eventually went public in January 2020.
In a statement on One Medical’s website, CEO Amir Dan Rubin, who will remain in place following closure of the deal, wrote that the acquisition will allow One Medical to “further deliver better health, better care, better value, within a better team environment through our technology-powered, human-centered model.”
July 6: GoTo to acquire Miradore
GoTo, the company formerly known as LogMeIn, has announced its intention to acquire Miradore, a cloud-based device management provider for an undisclosed amount. Miradore is currently owned by the Nordic technology investor Standout Capital.
Founded in 2006, Miradore is a mobile device management (MDM) cloud platform that allows IT teams to manage end users across iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. GoTo expects to integrate Miradore’s technology with its GoTo Resolve IT support and management product in 2023.
In a statement, GoTo CEO Mike Kohlsdorf said, “Miradore’s scalable, SMB-focused solutions are a natural fit for GoTo and our customers, and we’re extremely excited to be working together… All of this will further bolster GoTo’s internal talent and market potential within the fast-growing MDM market, which is expected to surpass $28 billion by 2027.”
June 23: Kaseya acquires Datto for $6.2B
Kaseya, a maker of IT service and security management software, said Thursday it had finalized its $6.2 billion acquisition of cybersecurity company Datto, promising tight integration between the two companies’ products and lower pricing for customers.
The deal’s closure marks the third high-profile acquisition for Kaseya in the past 18 months; the company acquired security threat response company Infocyte in January, and threat detection company BitDam in March 2021.
In a statement, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said: “We bought Datto because we think they’re AWESOME – their world-class products, highly-regarded brand, innovative culture and amazing people – we have no intention of messing up any of that. We will build on what they created so in the end, MSPs will get the maximum value from their solutions at an affordable price.”
June 7: Oracle closes Cerner acquisition
Six months after first announcing it was acquiring electronic health records company Cerner, Oracle finally closed the deal for $28 billion.
Oracle’s purchase is not the only high-cost healthcare acquisition this year. In March, Microsoft completed its $20 billion purchase of Nuance Communications, a provider of conversational AI- and cloud-based ambient clinical intelligence to the healthcare sector.
In a statement confirming the purchase, Oracle said: “Combining our existing healthcare industry solutions…with our acquisition of Cerner, we believe Oracle has a uniquely positioned opportunity to offer new solutions to a broken healthcare system.”
May 26: Broadcom to acquire VMware for $61B
Semiconductor manufacturer and infrastructure software giant Broadcom will acquire virtualization and enterprise cloud vendor VMware in a deal worth roughly $61 billion in stock and cash, the companies announced on May 26. Broadcom will also assume $8 billion of VMware net debt as part of the deal, which is one of the biggest of the year so far.
“Building upon our proven track record of successful M&A, this transaction combines our leading semiconductor and infrastructure software businesses with an iconic pioneer and innovator in enterprise software as we reimagine what we can deliver to customers as a leading infrastructure technology company,” Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said in a statement. “We look forward to VMware’s talented team joining Broadcom, further cultivating a shared culture of innovation and driving even greater value for our combined stakeholders, including both sets of shareholders.”
The deal, which is still subject to customary regulatory approval and closing conditions, will see the existing Broadcom Software Group fully rebranded as VMware.
May 11: Salesforce acquires Troops.ai
Salesforce has announced that it will acquire Troops.ai for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2016, Troops.ai is a revenue and communications platform that uses Slack and Microsoft Teams bots to surface CRM data from platforms such as Salesforce.
In a statement, Salesforce said that Troops and its team will become part of Slack—which it acquired in 2020—when the deal closes in 2023.
“We’ve been a leader in the industry, working with some of the fastest-growing companies in the world, including Salesforce and Slack,” Troops’ CEO and cofounder Dan Reich wrote in a blog post. “We’ve done this by delivering real-time insights from systems of record like Salesforce to systems of engagement like Slack, bringing together information and actions that customer-facing teams need to close new deals and support existing customers.”
May 5: Google acquires microLED startup Raxium
Google has acquired Raxium, a five-year-old Bay Area startup working on microLED display technologies for wearables and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) headsets. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but could be as much as $1 billion, according to reports by The Information.
In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google, said: “Raxium’s technical expertise in this area will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts.”
The Raxium team will immediately join Google’s devices and services team.
April 25: Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44B
Nine years after going public, and eleven days after billionaire Elon Musk first made an offer to buy Twitter, the social media network announced it would become a privately owned company once again.
The purchase price totals an eye-watering $44 billion and is includes of $21 billion of Musk’s own money, alongside debt funding from Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1.
Despite initially declining Musk’s offer and enacting anti-takeover measures, the board ultimately decided to accept Musk’s offer once it saw confirmed funding for the acquisition.
In a company statement, Bret Taylor, Twitter’s independent board chair, said: “The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
April 11: Kaseya buys Datto for $6.2B and takes the company private
Security software company Kaseya has agreed to buy Datto for $6.2 billion and will take the company private again, after it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2020. Datto was founded in 2007 and provides data backup and security software, primarily to managed service providers.
“This is exciting news for Kaseya’s global customers, who can expect to see more functional, innovative and integrated solutions as a result of the purchase,” said Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s CEO.
April 5: AMD acquires Pensando for $1.9B
Chipmaker AMD has announced the acquisition of Pensando for approximately $1.9 billion.
Pensado specializes in data processing unites (DPUs), which include intelligent, programmable software to support the software-defined cloud, compute, networking, storage, and security services that could be rolled out quickly to edge, colocation, or service-provider networks.
“There are a wide range of use cases—such as 5G and IoT—that need to support lots of low-latency traffic,” Soni Jiandani, Pensando cofounder and chief business office told Network World last November. “We’ve taken a ground-up approach to giving enterprise customers a fully programmable system with the ability to support multiple infrastructure services without dedicated CPUs.”
March 29: Celonis acquires Process Analytics Factory
Process mining specialist Celonis is acquiring fellow German software firm, Process Analytics Factory, for a reported $100 million.
Up until now, Celonis has been focused on helping enterprises optimize processes around their ERP systems — and more recently has branched out to help them optimize their use of workflow automation platforms, too. Now it is acquiring Process Analytics Factory to improve its process mining offering and help enterprises automate with Microsoft’s Power Platform.