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Embrace Intelligent Globalism: Our October Infotech M&A Report

Oct 10, 2018

Embrace Intelligent Globalism: Our October Infotech M&A Report

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Dear Clients and Friends,

Our latest report on the values and trends in the dozen+ segments of the information technology industry that we follow, and sometimes lead, can be found here. Please click here for our October Infotech M&A Report.

We regularly advise on cross-border transactions, and have done so in 27 countries so far. These deals make up about one-third of our business. We were pleased to see the recent progress on NAFTA 2.0. It stands as an example of what can be done in promoting cross-border trade that is fair for both sides (or all three sides, in this case) – especially in the context of President Trump’s remarks to the U.N. General Assembly where he said, “We reject the ideology of globalism.” At the same time we were sorry to learn that Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN is soon to depart her role. She understands that there is more to globalism than trade.

We embrace what we call “intelligent globalism.” It’s not about pursuing globalism for its own sake – but rather about increasing the size of the pie for all. It’s partly about recognizing that each society can bring its own special attributes to the table and also partly about ensuring global peace, global cooperation, global stability, and global growth. It’s correct to ensure that others are fair to us, and to push back on unfair trade practices. However, we should remember that not all trade imbalances (or all international cooperative bodies) are evil. After all, the US has a trade surplus with six of our 15 major trading partners. Further, outside of our top trading partners, the US runs a $41 billion deficit with all other countries.

The benefits of intelligent globalism are many and not all are obvious from the statistics. Reduced global poverty, improved global health, increasing standards of living and 70+ years since the last world war certainly count. Our industry is a beneficiary of globalism. In 2016 (the latest year analyzed) the US exported $93.4 billion in “Electronic Services” and imported $54.3 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $39 billion. In spite of China’s many non-tariff barriers, it is useful to remember that General Motors, Apple, and other US companies manufactured and sold a combined total of $223 billion in goods through their Chinese branches in 2015 (the latest year analyzed) – a $20 billion surplus with China that is not factored into the traditional trade balance figures – and contributes to global stability.

As you will see in our latest market update found below, cross-border m&a activity in the dozen+ sectors that we follow, and sometimes lead, remains strong – and we believe that this form of intelligent globalism plays a small part in keeping the world economy strong.

We have a team that will be looking for signs of intelligent globalism at The Futures and Options Expo in Chicago, October 16th-18th, and at Money2020 in Las Vegas, October 21-24th. If you’d like to arrange a meeting at either of these events, please contact Scott Friedman at

Meanwhile, as you will see in our latest market update, a few of the more interesting transactions over the past month include:

  • Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) agreed to acquire Marketo for $4.75bn,
  • Udaan (Bangalore, Karnataka) raised approximately $225mm in a Series C funding round led by DST Global,
  • Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) agreed to acquire Cinnober for SEK1.7bn (~$190mm), valuing the company at an implied 4.4x LTM revenue,
  • SurveyMonkey raised $180mm in its IPO, implying an enterprise value of ~$2bn and valuing the company at an implied 8.8x LTM revenue,
  • Lianlian (Hangzhou, China) raised ¥1.0bn (~$147mm) in a Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital China and Boyu Capital.

Please click here for our October Infotech M&A Report.


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