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    Entries in Online (23)



    Total volume in Berkery Noyes’ Online and Mobile report for third quarter 2012 decreased 12 percent, from 516 to 454 transactions. Transaction value fell 33 percent, from $22.4 billion to $15.0 billion. However, the median revenue multiple increased from 1.5x to 1.9x and the median EBITDA multiple rose from 7.5x to 9.4x.

    M&A in the E-Commerce segment, after increasing 37 percent from first to second quarter 2012, declined 36 percent in third quarter 2012. This was partially influenced by a slow-down in daily deal transactions, a subsector that decreased 62 percent. In addition, activity in the social media marketing subsector improved 50 percent compared to a year ago but stayed flat in third quarter 2012, contributing to the E-Marketing & Search segment’s 20 percent drop-off in the last three months. 

    Meanwhile, transactions in the report involving consumer mobile apps showed a robust level of activity, rising 42 percent on a quarterly basis.

    “The consumer industry is finding value in location based technologies and social discovery apps,” said Evan Klein, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “One interesting aspect is that companies can geocode and layer comparative shopping prices onto mobile devices in order for users to find the ‘best’ deals. These social networking applications, which allow for hyper-targeted local advertising, are capable of announcing deals or specials only to those within a certain radius of the business’ physical location.” 



    After an unusually quiet first quarter, Google’s M&A activity in the Information Industry as tracked by Berkery Noyes has started to increase. Google made its first transaction of the year back in April, acquiring TxVia, a payments processing platform to go along with Google Wallet. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings for $11.9 billion closed in May, and the search engine giant has already acquired KikScore, Meebo, and Quickoffice thus far in June.  

    Meebo, one of the aforementioned acquired companies, is a startup that helps online publishers connect their websites with social network sites. A similar deal that occurred recently was’s acquisition of Threadsy, an integrated communication client. MyLife enables users to access their email and social accounts in one place, which is similar to Thready’s technology. With this acquisition, MyLife plans to bolster its Personal Relationship Manager (PRM) for its 60 million members.

    Google’s overall M&A strategy remains focused on startups and acquiring new technologies. Following Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, there has been speculation that Google may be interested in Pinterest or a similar type of visual oriented company.  Google has mentioned the need to improve its video discovery tools, and Pinterest would be a valuable asset to Google+. However, there is no indication that Pinterest would be willing to sell, especially after just raising $100 million in its latest round of funding.  Nonetheless, such a transaction would be one of Google’s most important strategic moves since acquiring YouTube in 2006 for $1.7 billion.



    In Berkery Noyes’ first quarter 2012 Online and Mobile press release, we discussed M&A surrounding mobile marketing and advertising. Digital marketing, examined as a subset of the e-marketing and search segment, experienced a seven percent increase in M&A activity in the first three months of 2012.

    In particular, we noted SingTel’s acquisition of Amobee for $321 million. Amobee just made its own acquisition, buying AdJitsu from Cooliris nearly a week ago. This acquisition will allow Amobee to leverage AdJitsu’s 3D mobile ad technology. One key aspect of product development in mobile advertising, as indicated by Amobee’s acquisition of AdJitsu, is for companies to make ads more interactive – with the end goal of increasing consumer engagement and brand loyalty.

    There have been other recent deals in this space as well. For example, Monster Offers and Ad Shark announced last Wednesday that they have agreed to merge. Ad Shark is a subsidiary of Iconsys, an app technology developer. This transaction indicates a strategic fit between a daily deal analytics aggregator (Monster Offers) and a mobile advertising platform (Ad Shark).

    With the ongoing need for technological innovation this nascent market, M&A provides a logical pathway for companies to attain the necessary expertise and cutting edge tools that will place them in a strong position going forward.



    There’s been a lot of discussion lately about Facebook’s announced acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. The product nature of the deal was similar to AOL’s acquisition of Hipster, an iOS and Android photo sharing app, for an undisclosed sum. 

    What’s not as obvious is that some smaller photo sharing transactions have been occurring as well. For instance, Shutterfly, an Internet-based social expression and publishing service, is planning to acquire Kodak Gallery’s online photo sharing platform for nearly $24 million.

    In the month prior to Shutterfly’s announcement, Imaging Spectrum acquired Express Digital Graphics. Express Digital’s products – which include Darkroom Software,, and Labtricity – are tailored to professional photographers. Instagram and Hipster, meanwhile, are used by everyday mobile users.  

    One interesting mobile app deal, RadiumOne’s acquisition of Focal Labs, occurred in the fourth quarter of 2011. With this transaction, RadiumOne is gaining Clixtr and PicBounce, two apps that allow users to share their photos more easily.



    Berkery Noyes has released its Online and Mobile M&A trends report for the first quarter. Here is some commentary from our managing directors:

    The only top ten E-Marketing and Search transaction in Q1 2012 was Singapore Telecommunications’ (SingTel’s) announced acquisition of Amobee for $321 million. “With this acquisition, SingTel is gaining a compelling range of technical expertise that should enable the company to benefit from the growing mobile advertising market,” said Berkery Noyes managing director Mary Jo Zandy. “Coupled with the proliferation of smartphones and the resilience of many emerging economies, M&A activity in mobile advertising appears to be robust for the foreseeable future.”

    Regarding mobile advertising technology companies that serve large enterprises, advertising executives are embracing a product development model that encourages them to collaborate with technical experts on a more regular basis.

    Although M&A in the Communications segment remained nearly constant during the last three months, transaction volume rose 70 percent relative to Q3 2011. According to Tom O’Connor, managing director at Berkery Noyes, “there were several interesting first quarter Healthcare transactions in the Communications segment. Besides Nuance Communication’s acquisition of Transcend Services, Lumeris and three Blues Plans acquired Navinet, the nation’s largest real-time Healthcare communications network.”