UK second only to US for global tech exits in 2014

Google, Apple and Facebook among top 10 tech acquirers

The UK was second only to the US for global tech exits in 2014, with overall activity up 58% on 2013 seeing 2886 compared to just 1825 the previous year, the latest report from CB Insights on global has revealed

Internet start-ups dominated exits – accounting for 54% of all deals, but the mobile sector showed strong performance in every quarter, taking one of every five private tech transitions – combined they represented more than 80% of all VC-backed tech exits.

This in a year that saw Facebook, Intuit and Microsoft all acquire multiple mobile companies. Internet and mobile were followed by software, computer hardware services and lastly electronics, with advertising, sales and marketing taking the top spot for sub-industries.

Elsewhere, figures reveal that an astonishing 73% of tech companies did not raise institutional capital prior to exit, up from 66% in 2013 – though 2014 saw an unparalleled 42 firms raise more than $100m. 44% of investor-backed exits were of early stage start-ups following seed or Series A investment, with 54% of acquisitions made in companies that raised less than $10m.

2014 also saw more than a 30% increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s) and Initial Public Offering (IPO) activity – in 2014 11 companies went public including Castlight Health, 2U and King Digital Entertainment.

Unsurprisingly, Google, Apple and Facebook were among the top 10 tech acquirers of the year, and Accel Partners overtook SV Angel as the investment firm with the most tech exits.

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