Enterprise Data & Analytics

Trump, Tariffs, and Process Automation: Our August Report on M&A in the Enterprise Data and Analytics Industry

August 2018

Dear Clients and Friends,

The report found below gives our sense of the current m&a trends and deals in the Enterprise Data and Analytics sector that we follow and sometimes lead. 

The news these days is filled with predictions by pundits about the impact of tariffs – and the potential for trade wars. As we watch, we realize that whatever else comes out of the current round of trade negotiations, all this attention to the costs of production is likely to further spur a trend that we have written about before – the automation…of almost everything – as businesses look to gain whatever competitive edge they can under-new-trade-tariffs. Earlier this year, McKinsey suggested that by 2030, almost 30 percent of jobs on Earth could be automated. Tariffs and trade wars will just cause it to happen sooner.

Firms purchase enterprise data and analytics for the same reasons that they pursue AI, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Automation (BPA) and other cognitive and embedded analytic technologies. It’s all about ensuring high product quality, improving service and containing costs. The difference is that RPA and BPA are designed to allow workers to deploy virtual counterparts that learn from and mimic the actions they use to accomplish routine tasks, therefore freeing the workers to handle more complex and intuitive activities. New use cases for BPA and RPA are being implemented at companies around the world, examples include back-end processes, such as accounting, billing management, customer onboarding, and validating data, as well as front-end processes, such as automated customer service management or contract initiation and management.

We are just as wary of trade wars as others. But investors are not waiting to see what comes next. As an example, recently, Automation Anywhere raised $250 million, setting a record for one of the largest Series A rounds for an enterprise software company. A few weeks ago, Siemens announced its acquisition of Mendix for $700 million (8x revenue) in an effort to use this low-code application development platform to accelerate its own cloud, IoT and digital enterprise ambitions. We continue to be active in facilitating transactions in this space and are currently advising an interesting company that sits right in the middle of these trends. 

A few of the more interesting trends are highlighted in the following report. Some of the more interesting recent transactions include the following:

  • Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) agreed to acquire Datorama for approximately $800mm,
  • Dataminr (New York, NY) raised $392mm in funding at an implied valuation of $1.6bn from new investors Morgan Stanley, Valor Equity Partners and Vulcan Capital,
  • Ipsos (ENXTPA:IPS) agreed to acquire four divisions of GfK Custom Research: Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs for £105mm (~$121mm),
  • Xero (ASX:XRO) agreed to acquire Hubdoc for $70mm in a 35% cash and 65% stock transaction,
  • Groundspeed Analytics (Ann Arbor, MI) raised $30mm in a Series B funding round led by Oak HC/FT.

Also, ACQ Magazine announced its ACQ5 awards recently. We are pleased that they named Marlin & Associates as the Overall Boutique Investment Banking firm of the Year. We always like when our hard work is recognized. Details on the ACQ5 awards can be found here.

Please find our full Enterprise Data & Analytics August report below.

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