Remote Work Technology Fuels Pandemic M&A Activity

Remote Work Technology Fuels Pandemic M&A Activity

Expertise ventures which might be creating software program for videoconferencing, collaboration and e-commerce instruments have gotten scorching acquisition targets for big firms and buyers throughout the pandemic.

Lifesize Inc., a videoconferencing software program firm based mostly in Austin, Texas, in August introduced a deal to buy collaboration-tool maker Kaptivo, citing a rising demand for remote-work apps. Lifesize itself was acquired by Marlin Fairness Companions in March. The phrases of the offers weren’t disclosed.

“We see a long-term step change within the utilization of remote-collaboration instruments for each enterprise and schooling,” mentioned Peter Spasov, Marlin’s senior managing director. Mr. Spasov mentioned the acquisitions of Lifesize and Kaptivo “capitalize on that development.”

Miro Parizek, principal accomplice for know-how at M&A advisory agency Hampleton Companions, mentioned Covid-19 is reshaping office practices, following lockdowns and journey restrictions.

He mentioned the shift to distant work over the previous few months—in some instances marking a everlasting change—has refocused the sights of many company and private-equity consumers to acquisitions that assist construct capabilities in digital communications and e-commerce, comparable to on-line funds and monetary providers, supply-chain logistics and last-mile success software program.

Hampleton expects sturdy M&A exercise within the second half of the 12 months, as company and private-equity consumers “jockey for place within the new, postpandemic enterprise atmosphere,” Mr. Parizek mentioned.

Regardless of the worldwide financial disruption sparked by the outbreak, Hampleton recorded 602 enterprise-software M&A offers within the first half of the 12 months, down simply 5% from the second half of 2019. Complete disclosed deal worth was $34 billion, down from $71 billion for a similar interval final 12 months, the report mentioned.

A lot of the largest offers to date this 12 months have been struck early within the first quarter, earlier than the coronavirus initially took maintain within the U.S. and Europe, in keeping with Hampleton.

Verizon Communications Inc.

in April agreed to purchase videoconferencing firm Blue Denims Community Inc., paying lower than $500 million for a significant

Zoom Video Communications Inc.

rival, an individual conversant in the phrases advised The Wall Road Journal.

The platform provides Verizon the flexibility to assist its company prospects develop telemedicine, distant studying and digital coaching providers, a Verizon spokeswoman mentioned on the time.

Max Azaham, a senior analysis director at Gartner Inc., mentioned the Verizon transaction got here whilst deal exercise slowed throughout the spring, when the outbreak started to unfold at a sooner fee.

“Verizon buying BlueJeans was a swift contrarian transfer by an acquirer, appearing early to achieve a strategic asset for videoconferencing, which continues to surge” as firms discover workarounds for closed places of work, Mr. Azaham mentioned.

Equally within the fintech house, in keeping with Mr. Azaham, as banks and different monetary providers shut branches or prohibit hours, many are accelerating the usage of on-line digital instruments. On the identical time, on-line purchasing, meals orders and different e-commerce transactions have soared throughout the pandemic, as extra folks keep of their houses.

Mastercard Inc.

in June introduced an $825 million deal to buy open-banking platform Finicity Inc., a 10-year-old Salt Lake Metropolis software program maker that aggregates customers’ monetary knowledge in actual time. The software helps third-party banks, mortgage lenders and different digital providers to rapidly entry a buyer’s monetary knowledge.

Mastercard’s Craig Vosburg talking on Bloomberg Tv, March 26, 2019.


Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg Information

“When taking a look at potential M&A alternatives, we’re centered on discovering these alternatives that might be a superb strategic match,” mentioned Craig Vosburg, Mastercard’s president of North America. “A few of these issues embrace increasing and strengthening our product and repair choices or offering us with new capabilities,” he mentioned.

Allen Bonde, vp and analysis director for digital transformation at Forrester Analysis Inc., mentioned he expects the variety of offers to speed up within the second half of the 12 months, when ongoing funding for tech startups grow to be scarce as early-stage buyers tighten their belts.

“We see a whole lot of offers on the market for enterprise-software corporations with deep pockets as orphaned startups scramble for an exit,” Mr. Bonde mentioned.

Write to Angus Loten at [email protected]

Corrections & Amplifications
The variety of world enterprise-software acquisitions and mergers declined 5% within the first half of 2020, in contrast with the second half of 2019, in keeping with Hampleton Companions. An earlier model of this text incorrectly mentioned the decline was a change from the primary half of 2019. (Corrected on Sept. 4, 2020)

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