There has been a huge surge in sector consolidation in the mobile app analytics sector over the last 12 months. This report identifies the driving forces of this consolidation, provides predictions on the sector and examines key 2017 M&A transactions in the sector.
Ascento Capital is an investment bank with international experience in mobile analytics. Ben Boissevain, Founder of Ascento Capital, has deep industry experience in the analytics space and has supported the successful exit of many analytics firms through aggressive outreach to well over 100 international acquirers. Ben Boissevain also brings broad international expertise having represented private companies in Switzerland, France, Israel, and Taiwan on the sell side and represented the public company comScore (SCOR) in its divestiture of its mobile analytics division.
I. Driving Forces of Sector Consolidation
The driving forces for sector consolidation are:
- Fragmentation and Commoditization: The mobile app analytics market is highly fragmented with various players delivering different new functionality. However, the core functionality is becoming commoditized leading larger firms to acquire smaller companies for innovations to supplement their use cases. As Gartner advised recently in a report on the sector, companies should “prepare for consolidation in the mobile app analytics space.”
- Large Players Late to the Game: As was seen in the Oracle / Webtrends transaction, many large players such as Oracle are late to the game and need to acquire companies for their analytics capabilities as market demand for such functionality increases.
- Unified Marketing Analytics Platform: There is a blending between performance, usage, user, and marketing analytics across the many platforms including mobile and Web. This cross-platform strategy is driving consolidation as adjacent sectors start to merge offerings. We are already seeing this with several of M&A transactions below being driven by the stated desire to deliver a unified marketing analytics platform which combed web analytics with mobile analytics.
In the short term, vendors will seek to establish differentiation through new product features, i.e. screen heat maps and predictive analytics. However, in the medium term, there will be very few independent mobile app analytics companies left as larger mobile analytics players acquire complimentary functionality and web analytics vendors evolve their products through acquisitions and organic development to include mobile app analytics. The few pure play mobile app analytics companies left will battle with much larger companies that have both web and mobile analytics capabilities and significantly more financial firepower.
III. Representative M&A Transactions in 2017
09.17.17 Pendo acquires Insert to add mobile apps to its user analytics and engagement platform
Pendo, creator of the leading web based Product Experience Platform, acquired, a Tel Aviv-based mobile engagement platform. CEO Todd Olson connected with Insert through Battery Ventures, which backed both companies, and he saw their product as doing “essentially what we do, but for mobile devices.”
06.27.17 Singular and Apsalar merge to create unified marketing analytics platform
With the merger with Apsalar, Singular will have a mobile attribution stack built in, connecting marketing data to customer data. The result will be a single platform under the Singular brand that will offer all of the combined functions for both mobile web and app campaigns.
05.17.17 App analytics company Apteligent acquired by VMware for analytics capabilities
Apteligent adds to the investments in end user computing such as analytics, performance management, crash churn, Xamarin SDK and digital workspace. VMware previously acquired AirWatch, a Mobile Device Management provider. The goal is to build on mobile and the AirWatch investment.
04.10.17 Oracle Acquires Webtrends
Oracle acquired the Webtrends Infinity big data platform finally giving the Oracle Marketing Cloud a digital analytics collection capability. A marketing cloud platform needs a digital analytics collection capability to be complete. Future acquisitions by Oracle will be forthcoming in the web analytics space.
01.25.17 Cisco Announces Acquisition of AppDynamics for $3.7 Billion
AppDynamics gives Cisco is a tool for monitoring the performance of applications. Long term, companies ultimately don’t want to be monitoring apps and the network in a manual fashion, but to predict, prevent and deliver situational awareness.
IV. Ascento Capital – International Investment Bank
Ascento Capital is an investment bank with international experience in mobile analytics. Ben Boissevain has represented mobile analytics companies in Switzerland and Israel on the sell side, France and Taiwan in pending transactions and comScore, a public US company in a spin off of its mobile analytics division.
Sale of Swiss Mobility Solutions, a Swiss firm focused on mobile analytics, to Gemalto, a public billion-dollar Dutch company
Gemalto is the leader in digital security. Swiss Mobility Solutions offers a Customer Experience Management platform and service that provide insights and analysis into mobile broadband network performance and subscribers’ perceived Quality of Experience.
Sale of CrowdX, a mobile network analytics solution provider in Israel, to Cellwize, a leader in Self-Organizing Networks (SON)
Cellwize’s SON offering, when enhanced with Crowdx’s crowdsourcing technology, will enable a new generation of capabilities for operators to drive measurable improvements in both customer experience and network performance.
Divestiture of the mobile analytics division of comScore, Inc. to Innovo in an MBO transaction
The Division focuses on providing telco analytics solutions to the marketing departments in mobile operators, focusing on helping capture, retain, and monetize customers and increase first call resolution and device returns. comScore, Inc. is a public company with a $1.8 billion market capitalization.
III. Contact Information
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on this report or if you are contemplating an exit now or years from now. I am happy to give you my M&A market perspective.