Noteworthy tech acquisitions 2022 | Computerworld
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:
- 1 May 5: Google acquires microLED startup Raxium
- 2 April 25: Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44B
- 3 April 11: Kaseya buys Datto for $6.2B and takes the company private
- 4 April 5: AMD acquires Pensando for $1.9B
- 5 March 29: Celonis acquires Process Analytics Factory
- 6 March 28: HP to acquire Poly for $3.3B
- 7 March 23: Apple acquires UK fintech startup Credit Kudos
- 8 March 8: Google buys cybersecurity company Mandiant
- 9 March 3: Snowflake buys Streamlit for $800M
- 10 Feb. 28: Rakuten Symphony acquires Kubernetes platform Robin.io
- 11 Feb. 24: Cloudflare acquires security startup Area 1 Security
- 12 Feb. 15: Intel to acquire Tower Semiconductor
- 13 Feb. 15: Akamai acquires Linode for $900M
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.
In October 2020 Celonis launched its Execution Management System (EMS) to visualize and design more efficient processes, and in April 2021 it formed a partnership with Microsoft to deliver process analytics through Power BI and to integrate its process improvement tools with Microsoft power Platform. Then, in October 2021, it partnered with ServiceNow to deliver process mining capabilities to the Now platform. It also has technology partnerships with Appian, Coupa, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, Snowflake, Splunk, and a handful of other software vendors.
March 28: HP to acquire Poly for $3.3B
HP has announced it is acquiring Poly, a company that specializes in video and audio equipment, for a purchase price of $1.7 billion, with a total transaction value of $3.3 billion, including debt. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022.
The acquisition is set to accelerate HP’s foray into the world of hybrid work, coming eight months after the company purchased remote desktop software provider Teradici.
Founded in 1990 and originally named Polycom, the company was acquired by headset maker Plantronics in 2019, after which the two newly merged companies rebranded themselves as Poly. Since then, the company has focused on providing enterprise-grade collaboration products, such as meeting room speakers and cameras, webcams, headsets, and software.
“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done,” said Enrique Lores, president and CEO of HP. “Combining HP and Poly creates a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions across large and growing markets. Poly’s strong technology, complementary go-to-market, and talented team will help to drive long-term profitable growth as we continue building a stronger HP.”
March 23: Apple acquires UK fintech startup Credit Kudos
Apple is acquiring the UK-based fintech startup Credit Kudos for an undisclosed amount. Credit Kudos last raised £5 million ($6.5 million) in funding in April 2020.
Neither Credit Kudos or Apple could be reached to confirm the deal, which was first reported by the crypto-focused publication The Block, citing three sources close to the deal.
Credit Kudos is a challenger credit bureau that uses machine learning and real-time data to build up a fuller picture of a person’s credit score, rather than traditional agencies, which typically rely on older information such as bank and utility statements to build a profile.
The firm has also benefitted from the recent wave of open banking regulations across the globe, which aim to open up consumer financial data via a set of secure application programming interfaces (APIs). Credit Kudos provides this data to clients for services such as affordability and risk assessments.
It is unclear what Apple plans to do with Credit Kudos, but the company has invested significantly in its fintech capabilities over recent years — in particular, its mobile Apple Pay wallet and its Apple Card credit card, which is currently only available in the US and was built in partnership with Goldman Sachs.
March 8: Google buys cybersecurity company Mandiant
Google will acquire cyberdefense and response firm Mandiant for $5.4 billion, in a move to offer an end-to-end security operations suite and advisory services from its cloud platform.
“Cybersecurity is a mission, and we believe it’s one of the most important of our generation,” Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Google Cloud shares our mission-driven culture to bring security to every organization. Together, we will deliver our expertise and intelligence at scale via the Mandiant Advantage SaaS platform, as part of the Google Cloud security portfolio.”
March 3: Snowflake buys Streamlit for $800M
Data cloud company Snowflake has acquired Streamlit for $800 million, enabling developers and data scientists to build apps using tools with simplified data access and governance.
Streamlit’s open-source framework allows developers and data scientists to build and share data apps quickly and iteratively, without the need to be an expert in front-end development. According to Streamlit, the platform has had more than 8 million downloads and more than 1.5 million applications have been built using it.
“At Snowflake, we believe in bringing together open standards and open source with industry-leading data governance and security,” Snowflake Co-Founder and President of Products Benoit Dageville said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “When Snowflake and Streamlit come together, we will be able to provide developers and data scientists with a single, powerful hub to discover and collaborate with data they can trust to build next generation data apps and shape the future of data science.”
Feb. 28: Rakuten Symphony acquires Kubernetes platform Robin.io
The recently launched telco-focused arm of Japan’s Rakuten Group, Rakuten Symphony, has acquired Robin.io, a startup offering a Kubernetes platform optimized for storage and complex network applications.
The two companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition. Since first launching, Robin.io has moved beyond its original focus on storage to offer a more full-featured Kubernetes platform, providing large telcos with ways of automating 5G services applications on Kubernetes and orchestrating private 5G and LTE deployments.
“Robin.io’s technology innovations over the last several years will now get a much bigger canvas to lead the vision for cloud-native transformation for the industry. Our vision to deliver simple to use, easy to deploy hyperscale automation is very well aligned,” said Robin.io CEO Partha Seetala.
Feb. 24: Cloudflare acquires security startup Area 1 Security
Cloudflare announced plans to acquire Area 1 Security for around $126 million, using both cash and stock to fund the acquisition.
Cloudflare has its own suite of zero-trust security products designed to prevent data loss, malware and phishing attacks, even when employees aren’t using their office network or a VPN. This deal will see the company add email security to this portfolio.
Area 1 Security has developed a product that stops phishing attacks sent via email before they reach an inbox. The company claims to have blocked more than 40 million phishing attempts in 2021 alone.
Cloudflare cCo-founder and CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement: “To us, the future of Zero Trust includes an integrated, one-click approach to securing all of an organization’s applications, including its most ubiquitous cloud application, email. Together, we expect we’ll be delivering the fastest, most effective, and most reliable email security on the market.”
Feb. 15: Intel to acquire Tower Semiconductor
Intel announced plans to acquire Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion, giving it access to more specialized production as it looks to take advantage of growing demand for semiconductors. The deal has been approved by both company boards, but is expected to take as long as 12 months to move through the normal regulatory channels.
Intel announced last year that it was planning to enter the foundry market to produce chips designed by their customers. Tower has been investing in multiple locations in recent years to boost capacity for 200- and 300-millimeter chips. It serves “fabless” companies, who design chips but outsource manufacturing, and integrated device manufacturers.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger sees the move as a good fit for the company’s vision. “Tower’s specialty technology portfolio, geographic reach, deep customer relationships and services-first operations will help scale Intel’s foundry services and advance our goal of becoming a major provider of foundry capacity globally,” he said in a statement.
Feb. 15: Akamai acquires Linode for $900M
Akamai has entered into an agreement to acquire Linode, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform provider, for approximately $900 million. Akamai reportedly expects Linode to add about $100 million in revenue for FY22.
Founded in 2003, Linode has positioned itself as an IaaS alternative to public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Unlike many of its competitors, Linode says it had not raised outside funding, boasting it “has successfully run a profitable business since [its] inception.”
“The opportunity to combine Linode’s developer-friendly cloud computing capabilities with Akamai’s market-leading edge platform and security services is transformational for Akamai,” Akamai CEO and co-founder Tom Leighton said in a statement. “Akamai has been a pioneer in the edge computing business for over 20 years, and today we are excited to begin a new chapter in our evolution by creating a unique cloud platform to build, run and secure applications from the cloud to the edge.”