SaaS Acquisitions: Recent Insights & Trends

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SaaS M&A

The software-as-a-service industry (SaaS) has been steadily growing over the past years. According to Statista, the SaaS market is expected to be worth $197 billion by the end of 2023, and by the end of 2024, it’s forecasted to reach $232 billion. 

This article focuses on the peculiarities of M&A activity in the SaaS sector and also lists the top 10 recent M&A deals between SaaS companies. Read on!

SaaS industry insights

Before diving into the specifics of SaaS M&A activity, let’s first take a look at the peculiarities of the SaaS sector in general. These are the key insights: 

SaaS M&A activity overview

Now, let’s get to the SaaS M&A activity and trends in particular. 

  • In Q3 2023, there were 539 SaaS M&A deals, according to the SEG Report. In Q2 and Q1 there were 538 and 567 SaaS M&A deals respectively.
  • The SEG SaaS index is deriving SaaS revenue multiples of 5.9x.
  • Private equity firms were the leading buyer type, representing 60% of all M&A SaaS deals, which is a slight YoY growth compared to 58 in Q3 2022.
  • Since December 2020, only 17 public SaaS acquisitions have been made. The median acquisition price of these companies is $6.2 billion.
  • According to Pitchbook, there are signs of partial reopening of the SaaS IPO’s market and public SaaS company acquisitions. For example, there is a 97% probability for GrubMarket and 96% for Coalition to become publicly traded SaaS companies.
  • As of 2022, the key players in the M&A SaaS market included Microsoft Cloud, Salesforce, and SAP. See other top players on the chart below. 

Source: Statista 

Top 10 SaaS M&A deals of 2022 and 2023

Let’s explore the 10 most prominent M&A deals in the industry of SaaS solutions in 2022 and 2023 so far.

1. Tookitaki and Thunes

  • Year: 2022

In 2022, Thunes, a Singapore-based payments startup, announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Tookitaki, another Singapore-based financial SaaS company that offers anti-money laundering and compliance technology solutions. 

The main reason behind the deal was the desire of both SaaS businesses to accelerate their global expansion. For Thunes, it was also an opportunity to create more transparency in payments for its existing customers around the globe. 

2. Broadcom and VMware

  • Year: 2022

Broadcom’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of VMware was announced in the first half of 2022 and closed in November 2022. 

Broadcom is a global technology leader developing semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions.  VMware is a cloud computing and virtualization technology company that’s a leading provider of enterprise software. 

Building upon the companies’ proven track record of successful M&A, among the main objectives behind the deal was the companies’ desire to accelerate innovation and address information technology infrastructure needs. 

3. Helpshift and Keywords Studios 

  • Year: 2022

At the end of 2022, Keywords Studios announced its acquisition of Helpshift for about $75 million. 

Keywords Studios is an Irish video game services company, Helpshift is a customer-service-oriented platform that provides a personalized, efficient, and modern support journey for customers. 

Through this acquisition, Keywords Studios can significantly improve its customer service, benefiting from Helpshift’s innovative expertise.

4. MailUp and Contactlab

  • Year: 2022 

MailUp and Contactlab announced their integration in April 2022.

MailUp is a SaaS multichannel marketing platform that focuses on helping customers enhance their marketing strategies via email and SMS. Contactlab is a data-centric marketing cloud platform that helps brands to personalize their communication with customers, and thus improve provider-customer relationships.

By Contactlab’s acquisition of MailUp, a new integrated company can increase its competitive advantage in the market.

5. Actionstep and Soluno

  • Year: 2023

At the end of Q3 2023, Actionstep, a cloud-based legal practice management software for law firms, announced its acquisition of Soluno, a legal accounting software from Affinipay.

This deal allows two companies to combine their expertise and vision to better serve the needs of modern middle-market law firms in Canada and the US.

6. Tritan and Ideagen

  • Year: 2023 

Ideagen is a Nottingham-based company that offers GRC software management solutions for high-compliance industries, such as pharmaceuticals, defense, and aerospace. Tritan is a supplier of software solutions for the maritime industry, especially for cruise liners. In May 2023, Ideagen announced its acquisition of Tritan. 

This SaaS deal is an example of strategic acquisitions as it allows Ideagen to enter new maritime markets and Tritan to expand its presence globally.

7. Projectmates and Hexagon

  • Year: 2023

The deal between Projectmates and Hexagon is an example of market consolidation. 

Projectmates is a Texas-based construction project management software company. Hexagon is a Swedish company and a global leader in digital reality solutions. In January 2023, Hexagon announced its acquisition of Projectmates. 

Through this deal, Hexagon boosts its existing product portfolio and as a result, delivers a more complete solution for its existing customers. Projectmates, in turn, can grow into international markets under better market conditions.

8. Activated Insights and Home Care Pulse (HCP)

  • Year: 2023 

The deal between Activated Insights and Home Care Pulse is an example of a synergistic merger, as both companies sell complementary products and services.

Activated Insights is a leading cloud-based satisfaction analytics platform for senior housing. Home Care Pulse is a leading provider of experience management, training, and benchmarking. 

By combining their forces, both companies improve their operations and can provide a better experience to customers.

9. Atonix Digital and Prometheus Group

  • Year: 2023

Prometheus Group announced its acquisition of Atonix Digital in March 2023. 

Prometheus Group is a leading global provider of plant maintenance and optimization software. Atonix Digital is a software development company that is a leader in the engineering and construction industry. 

With this acquisition, Prometheus Group can use Atonix Digital’s expertise to present an end-to-end solution by moving beyond predictive analytics.

10. Ion Wave and GTY Technology

  • Year: 2023

GTY Technology announced its acquisition of Ion Wave in January 2023. 

GTY Technology (now Euna Solutions) is a leading provider of SaaS solutions for the public sector. Ion Wave is also a SaaS solutions provider for the public sector, including the management of special educational programs and procurement automation.

With this deal, which is an example of market consolidation, Euna Solutions can benefit from the Ion Wave’s innovations and provide a better customer experience. 

Other specifics of SaaS deal activity

Let’s discover a few more peculiarities of modern SaaS dealmaking based on the SEG report

  • In 2022, private equity direct and private equity-backed strategic buyers made almost 60% of all SaaS M&A transactions.
    Considering horizontal and vertical markets, horizontal markets made up 58% of SaaS deals, and verticals made up 42%.
    Top 5 SaaS verticals included Healthcare, Financial Services, Government, Energy, and Manufacturing.

SaaS dealmaking trends

Below is a list of the main SaaS M&A trends by the end of 2023 that can be used as insights for institutional investors: 

  • Focus on AI. The integration of AI in SaaS solutions is now on the rise and will only keep growing in demand. The global AI software market is expected to grow to $251 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 31.4%.
  • Micro-SaaS. The “micro” in micro-SaaS refers to the extent of business problems a SaaS company solves. Experts anticipate significant growth in the production of micro-SaaS solutions, which is also predicted to be reflected in the SaaS M&A deal volume as well.
  • Integrations. Considering that the number of SaaS solutions used within an average company is only growing, SaaS companies that can offer more modern integrations might get more interest in public markets.

Summing up

Let’s summarize the main points from the article: 

  • The SaaS market continues to grow, and it’s projected to reach $232 billion by the end of 2024.
  • SaaS M&A activity in the Q3 of 2023 remained strong — 539 deals were conducted.
  • Among the top 10 SaaS M&As of 2022 and 2023 are deals between Projectmates and Hexagon, Actionstep and Soluno, and Broadcom and VMware.
  • Among the main trends of the SaaS M&A market are a focus on AI, micro-SaaS solutions, and the addition of integrations.

Author

Ronald Hernandez

Founder, CEO at dataroom-providers.org

Data room selection & optimization expert with 10+ years of helping companies collaborate more securely on sensitive documents.

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