Startup Transatlantic M&As US vs. EU

The common wisdom is that acquisitions have played a central role in Silicon Valley’s success, and that buying startups is one of the fastest ways for companies to embrace disruption and keep innovating. But are these widely held beliefs actually true or just more of the many Silicon Valley myths? Are U.S. and Silicon Valley companies more acquisitive than the rest of the world and Europe in particular? Mind the Bridge and CrunchBase have dug into CrunchBase database, to try to get some evidence of this phenomenon.

As a result, a new report “Startup Transatlantic M&As. US vs EU” has been presented at the European Innovation Day conference on September 12th in Mountain View (CA) – the opening act of Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley. SEC2SV is an annual ten-day program where entrepreneurs, managers, investors and policy makers from both sides of the pond work together to identify best practices and practicable ways to foster innovation. We hope you will find it useful.

Below are some report highlights. We tracked approximately six thousand startup acquisitions performed by US and European companies since 2012. A total of 82% of the deals have been completed by US companies. Only 18 per cent were by European companies. In other words, 3 out of 4 startups have been acquired by US companies. Not surprisingly, 21% of the deals have been completed by Silicon Valley companies. Even less surprisingly, among the top 15 acquirers in the ranking, we find 11 Silicon Valley companies.

None of them is from Europe; the first European one – Germany’s SAP – ranks 33rd. Looking at the Old Continent, the UK is the most active country in terms of exits (over 500 since 2012) followed by Germany and France. The Nordics and Benelux prove to be other relevant regions in the European startup map. US companies are far more acquisitive than European ones. We think this is key to innovation.

by Alberto Onetti & Marco Marinucci

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