The Year in M&A, Social Media Analysis 2021

Companies in social media analysis changed ownership 36 times in 2021, up dramatically from 2020. The repeat buyers were back, there was an IPO, and investment activity demolished previous records. Everyone watching already knew this, but 2021 was a busy year.

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.

The IPO

One a year seems to be our IPO quota, and in 2021 it was Sprinklr’s turn, joining the New York Stock Exchange (ticker: CXM) with a $266 million offer.

Return of the Serial Acquirers

After a quiet 2020, the industry’s repeat buyers were back in ’21. Meltwater led the way by volume, boosting market research with Linkfluence, influencer marketing with Klear, crowdsourcing communities with Owler, and core technology with DeepReason.ai.

Hootsuite boosted customer care with Sparkcentral and added conversational AI with Heyday. Alpine Software Group grew its Traject suite with the addition of Sendible and Loomly. Twitter acquihired Reshuffle for its developer platform team, citing their experience in building an API integration platform.

Keeping its spot at the top of the leaderboard, Cision picked up another high-end platform with Brandwatch, which brings along a few of its own acquisitions (see the complete history on the scorecard). Its second deal of the year, for the Australian media monitoring specialist Streem, gives Cision another product and a regional presence in ANZ.

A Bigger Map

Cision wasn't the only company growing its geographic footprint through acquisitions. Dataxet extended into Thailand with InfoQuest, and CARMA grew in Portugal with Manchete. Access Intelligence looked to Australia and Asia Pacific markets with its acquisition of Isentia.

In addition to a California office that will serve as a regional HQ, Uberall got social media and sentiment analysis with MomentFeed.

Filling Gaps

Acquisitions to fill technology needs go two directions: SMA companies adding technical capabilities, and other companies buying social media capacity to support other businesses. Dataminr picked up data geovisualization capabilities with WatchKeeper, while Comscore tapped Shareablee to link digital and social media measurement, and Nosto got visual content marketing from Stackla to support its e-commerce platform.

Talkwalker added product reviews and e-commerce tracking from Reviewbox for its primary platform. NetBase Quid got customer feedback and competitive benchmarking with Rival IQ. SOCi reinforced its location-based digital marketing and search position with Brandify. Verint reached new social and messaging channels with Conversocial while pointing out their complementary conversational AI capabilities.

UNICEPTA added social media and semantic AI to its media monitoring portfolio with Ubermetrics. CreatorIQ got analytics and benchmarking for influencer marketing with Tribe Dynamics. Qualtrics added Clarabridge to understand social media and other indirect feedback channels.

Following a 2019 launch, ChapsVision is pursuing rapid acquisitions to assemble a strategic technology provider for its clients, adding Bertin IT in 2020 for its cyber intelligence capabilities. IDG Communications added LeadSift to its martech stack for B2B marketers.

X Analytics

Khoros got a customer experience analytics platform in Topbox, while Medallia picked Decibel for digital experience analytics. InMoment got a self-service CX analytics option with Wootric and natural language processing and machine learning with Lexalytics.

Reputation emphasized social customer experience when it picked up Nuvi, while also choosing the team for its core R&D function.

SMA for Government and Security

Accenture Federal Services built a new national security portfolio on Novetta. BlueHalo, an engineering and technology provider to US national security clients, got Scraawl as it rolled up Intelligent Automation, Inc. HENSOLDT expanded into data analysis with SAIL LABS, creating a new analytics division to serve government and private-sector clients.

Whew, busy year. And there's already a 2022 deal to cover…

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