The Year in M&A, Social Media Analysis 2018

Companies in social media analysis changed ownership 25 times in 2018—down from 29 in 2017, but with more mergers of equals and an IPO to add interest. As usual, most transactions are portfolio plays, companies adding to their technology and services capabilities. Serial acquirers stayed in the market, and an industry watcher decided to be a product company.

Here's a recap of the year's deals. As always, you can find the latest deals and a record of past deals in the space at SMA's acquisitions scorecard.

Acquisitions in social media analysis 2018

Mergers and the Rare IPO
More than usual, 2018 saw companies combining in deals described as mergers. Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon brought together two enterprise-grade social media analysis companies. Spredfast and Lithium married for a more complete vision of customer engagement. TrackMaven and Skyword combined strengths in content marketing.

Comintelli joined the industry's short list of public companies after it started trading on the Spotlight market.

Portfolio Pickups
Meltwater continued its acquisitive ways, rounding up the DataSift platform and team and forming a new social analytics business unit from Sysomos. TrendKite revealed a one-stop digital PR platform strategy when it added Insightpool and Union Metrics.

Ipsos added Synthesio to its global insights portfolio as a branded subsidiary. Brickfish picked up Nuvi to combine social media analysis with its GroundSpark social campaign manager. YouGov bolstered its social media analysis and data science with added social advertising and analytics with Komfo and its team. Mynewsdesk got web and social media monitoring in Mention. Quotient went shopping for influencer marketing and found Ahalogy.

Technology Pickups
Cision got image recognition technology and talent in ShareIQ. Slyce bought the Ditto Labs IP and image-recognition technology platform. Twitter went for security-related tech with Smyte.

Positioning Plays
YouScan consolidated its position in Russia and the CIS region with BrandSpotter. StatSocial picked up Macromeasures to combine their strengths in social data and analytics. Linkfluence acqui-hired a new CEO and engineering team and gained a US office with, collecting complementary technology along the way.

Ebiquity sold its ad intellience product to Nielsen to refocus on its marketing measurement and optimization services. Unison added a strategic marketing services unit with Brand Machine.

Category Change
Industry analyst Forrester previewed its emergence as a product company with its acquisitions of Feedbacknow and GlimpzIt.

Watch This Space
The private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners bought most of Talkwalker with an eye on product innovation and international expansion.

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