partneruplogo1.pngBusiness social network PartnerUp has put together an interesting, qualitative list of acquisitions from 2007 that includes quite a few non-venture-backed purchases. It’s a little window into the many small but successful exits that likely won’t appear in larger studies of last year’s merger and acquisition activity.

It shows that a lot of small companies made some good money, at least for the entrepreneurs. Quite a few sales were in the single or double-digit millions. Examples include Myspace widget slideshow company Flektor, which sold to Fox Interactive for an estimated $15-$20 million, and news aggregator BuzzTracker, which sold to Yahoo for $5 million.

PartnerUp’s list of acquisitions is grouped into categories defined by the company, and includes: 54 in web/internet, 24 in social networking (which PartnerUp defines separately from web/internet), 10 in internet advertising, 12 in software (mostly business software), two in voice, two in hardware, three in gaming, and four in mapping/geo.

There are different ways to interpret this information, of course. One could be that many entrepreneurs saw their businesses grow to a size where the opportunity of a quick sale won out over the risk of continuing on independently. Growing an independent web startup often means taking on venture backing to support back-end engineeering. A more negative spin: Many of these smaller businesses were never going to get big — and everybody knew it — and selling fast was the only way for the entrepreneurs to cash out.

It’s important to note the natural biases in this list, as it was based largely on coverage of acquisitions within the tech blogosphere. Many popular technology blogs focus on web and social networking startups — a significant portion of people who read technology news are mostly interested in those types of companies.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive, analytical review of specifically venture-backed exits (including IPOs) across many categories in the US, in 2007, see our coverage of today’s report by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association.

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