Everything you ever wanted to know about European tech exits in 2014 can be found in this report
Tech.eu has issued its first ever “EU tech exits in 2014” report, which tracked a total of 358 exits (mergers, acquisitions and IPOs) of European technology companies in 2014.
Meanwhile, Silicon Valley had 738 venture-capital backed exits in 2014. Just over one-third of all European tech companies with an exit in 2014 were funded by venture capital firms.
The Tech.eu report found that only 4.75% of European tech company exits in 2014 were initial public offerings (IPOs). The 125 deals that were disclosed amounted to a total of €80.14 billion (almost $90 billion at the current conversion rate), although in more than 65% of the deals, the size of the transaction could be not determined.
Compare and contrast
Israel, the second most active tech ecosystem per capita after Silicon Valley, by comparison had $15 billion in exits, with 52 deals and 18 IPOs.
Tech.eu found that B2B rules in Europe: only about 40% of exited companies operate a B2C model with the most popular vertical for exits being enterprise SaaS, followed by adtech, gaming, security and e-commerce.
On the other hand, in Israel in 2014 the most popular verticals were the semiconductor sector, with deals valued at $5.7 billion. IT and software followed at $3.08 billion, life sciences at $2.2 billion, Internet at $1.8 billion, communications at $1.44 billion, and cleantech at $430 million.
Major deals in Europe
A lot of the major deals were a result of consolidation in the telco/ISP space (SFR, Ziggo, ONO etc.) but a number of digital IPOs also stood out (namely King, Markit, Rocket Internet, Zalando, Just Eat and Zoopla).
Meanwhile, Germany saw the most ‘domestic’ company exits in Europe, but the UK had significantly more major ‘home runs.’
In terms of acquisitions, Google acquired the most European tech companies in 2014 (8), followed by Microsoft, Yandex and Facebook.
Approximately 37% of all acquisitions of European tech firms were made by a U.S.-based company (122 vs. 40 for #2 on the list, Germany).
The full report, complete with detailed breakdowns, per-country analysis, a look at investor involvement, and outlook on future trends can be found here.