Here at Results we cover all aspects of technology with a particular focus on enterprise software / SaaS, software-related IT services, and tech enabled services. However we like to turn our attention to a number of specific sectors at the end of every quarter to consider the trends and analyse the activity in the M&A, fundraising and public markets.
We have produced our view on the previous quarter’s proceedings in a series of individual market reviews on:
2017 will be remembered as the record-breaking year in global stock markets and soaring valuations in the tech markets, particularly in the enterprise software sector with share prices across the majority of Results International Global Enterprise Software Indices finishing the year on a high led by MarTech (up 95% in the last 12 months).
This was a year where M&A deal activity recovered from a turbulent 2016, with European deal-making on the rise showing growing strategic appetite and investor confidence in doing deals in Europe after years of political uncertainty due to Brexit. Private equity have also been very active in 2017, dominating the enterprise software sector in particular with 9 out of the top 10 acquirers coming from the PE world; a trend we expect to continue in 2018 as private equity firms have significant funds to deploy and are matching and often beating their strategic counterparts on price.
The IPO markets also showed signs of life in 2017 with a number of successful IPOs including Okta, Sailpoint and ForeScout (all cybersecurity) and Alteryx (analytics) laying the foundation for more companies going public especially with markets being at all-time highs.
A common theme across most of our tech sectors has been the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. AI is on almost everyone’s agenda and for 2018 we anticipate a lot of AI M&A activity as companies look to bolster and future proof their offerings with the latest artificial intelligence technology. With markets stabilising, tech companies sitting on record cash-piles and the passing of Trump’s tax reforms we predict another strong year in M&A and fundraising with the fundamental drivers of consolidation and investment within all of our sectors – growth, innovation, access to new geographies and the emergence of new buyers – continuing to drive strong levels of activity.
We hope you enjoy the document, and please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the themes with us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.