||By Kevin Dee, Co-Founder of Eagle
This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on January 9th, 2020
This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the Tech industry for December 2019. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.
A Little History of previous year’s Decembers …
Five years ago, December 2014 had the political and technical ramifications of “the Sony hack” causing uproar, some very positive economic indicators out of the US and some big names making acquisitions, albeit not huge deals. Microsoft made two acquisitions, the $200 million purchase of mobile email app startup Acompli and mobile development company HockeyApp (which has nothing to do with hockey). SAP bought travel and expense management company Concur; Intel bought a Montreal-based identity management company PasswordBox; Oracle bought digital marketing company Datalogix; Teradata bought data archiving company Rainstor; and MongoDB bought high-scale storage engine company WiredTiger.
In December 2015 M&A was quiet but there was some interesting activity. The big deal saw Canadian telco Shaw make a big play into the cellular space with its proposed acquisition (subsequently approved) of Wind for $1.6 billion. Meanwhile Rogers was also out shopping and growing its Maritimes presence through the acquisition of Internetworking Atlantic Inc. Other deals in December were not large but did feature some of the big players. Oracle bought Stackhouse a cloud company with a specialization in “containers”; IBM boosted its video in the cloud capabilities with the purchase of Clearleap; and Microsoft picked up a mobile communications company, Talko. Other deals saw Ingram Micro buy the Odin Service Automation business from Parallels and in the storage world Carbonite bought Evault from Seagate.
Three years ago in December 2016 Adecco sold its majority stake in Beeline VMS to GTRC, a private equity firm, for $100 million in cash plus a $30 million note; CRN solution provider SS&C purchased asset service firm Conifer for $88.5 million; solution provider QRX Technology Group acquired IT equipment provider Kerr Norton; networking solution provider, Juniper Networks acquired cloud operations management provider AppFormix; Uber bought start-up Geometric Intelligence Inc.; and Shopify acquired Tiny Hearts, a Toronto-based mobile product development studio.
December 2017 saw Atos enhance the footprint of their IT Services firm by paying $5 billion for Gemalto. Apple were busy, paying $400 million for music recognition app Shazam, plus they invested $390 million into optical communications components company Finisar. Finally, in a relatively quiet M&A month Ingram Micro increased its data protection capability through the purchase of Cloud Harmonics.
Last year December 2018 saw IBM sell off a portion of their software portfolio to HCL for $1.8 billion. Cisco paid $660 million for optical chip company, Luxtera; and OpenText paid $310 million for data management company Liaison Technologies. In other deals, Google bought “where is my train” app company, Sigmoid Labs; Corel bought desktop virtualization company Parallels; Trello bought Butler, whose product is a popular addition for Trello users; Kaseya bought IT documentation company IT Glue; and GE continued its restructuring efforts by spinning out its IoT subsidiary and selling its interest in Pivotal. Finally the end of December was the beginning of Dell’s return as a public company.
Which brings us back to the present …
December 2019 saw some big dollar deals in the M&A world with the biggest seeing LogMeIn sold to private equity for $4.3 billion. Intel shelled out $2 billion for AI chip company Habana Labs; and F5 Networks paid $1 billion for Shape Security. In other deals Solarwinds paid $175 million for VividCortex; NTT picked up AWS company Flux7; Fortinet bought Cybersponse; CheckPoint Software bought security company Protego; Acronis bought security company 5nine and Opswat bought cyber security company Impulse.
There have been warnings that cyberattacks will increase in 2020 and 2019 ended with a couple of significant attacks coming to light … LifeLabs announcing a significant breach of patient data and Wawa also announcing a major breach.
Here in Canada we lost 70,000 jobs in November as the US was adding 266,000 non-farm jobs! The US economy continues to do well, although sentiment is trending down, with concerns that 2020 will see slower growth and the potential for a recession. Around the world jobs data is positive other than the obvious spots like the UK, as it continues to wrestle with Brexit.
That’s what caught my eye over the last month. The full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the January 2020 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile