Software Industry Valuations Rise, Driven by Demand for Software-as-a-Service

Global spending on information and communications technologies is fueling higher valuations for public software companies, according to a quarterly report released by the San Diego-based Software Equity Group. Much of that increased spending, however, reflects an intensifying demand for cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS), as big-company CIOs increasingly accept the notion of outsourcing many programs that were previously installed on corporate networks.

As a result, valuations of public SaaS companies have continued to climb, and more SaaS companies got acquired during the second quarter that ended in June.

For all sectors of the software industry, the Software Equity Group counted 397 buyouts and mergers with a cumulative value of more than $21.3 billion during the second quarter. That was down from a revised tally of 423 mergers and acquisitions during the previous quarter, although the latest quarter’s $21.3 billion worth of deals was almost twice the $11.1 billion total in the previous quarter.

However, that $21.3 billion was skewed by a single mega-deal—Microsoft’s May 10 acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion. During the same quarter of 2010, the firm counted 378 mergers and acquisitions valued at a total of $17.2 billion.

The firm also counted nine software IPOs, which collectively raised more than $3 billion, at an average of $344 million. That was up sharply from the four software IPOs with an average valuation of $120 million during the previous quarter. The nine companies listed … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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