Acquisitions of tech startups exploded in the third quarter, led by giants outside the industry who are hoping they can buy their way to an innovative future.
In the latest Tech M&A report from EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, the value of tech acquisitions overall rose to $155.5 billion in the three months ending September 30, up 22 percent from Q2 and a whopping 138 percent from the same period one year ago.
That’s impressive, because 2015 set a record for tech acquisitions. The $349.4 billion in tech deals for the first nine months of 2016 is 30 percent higher than the same period one year ago.
To a large measure, that was propelled by a record 32 deals with values over $1 billion in the quarter. That topped the record set in Q2 by 4 deals.
“Technology dealmaking is setting records because all buyers are motivated in the current environment,” said Jeff Liu, EY Global Technology Industry Leader, Transaction Advisory Services, in a statement.
The largest pure tech deals include Oracle’s $9.3 billion acquisition of NetSuite. But in the world of non-tech buyers, SoftBank bought ARM Holdings for $32.4 billion, Verizon announced a deal for Yahoo worth $4.8 billion, and Walmart bagged Jet.com for $3.3 billion.
According to Liu, this combination of non-tech buyers and traditional tech companies pushing back into the M&A market offers a hopeful sign for the future, as IPOs still remain really rare.