Tableau, Looker, Zoomdata Acquired…What’s Going On?

June 10, 2019, Posted by Ron Lissak

Today my plan was to post a note of congratulations to our client, Logi Analytics, on their acquisition of Zoomdata. But with Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau, which followed Google’s acquisition of Looker last week, it is worth stepping back for a moment to ask if this is a coincidence or a growing trend?

What do all these deals have in common other than they are happening now? For one thing, they are all about helping enterprise customers gain a clearer understanding of their data to make better, faster data-driven decisions.

Take Google’s purchase of Looker, for example. Thomas Kurian, no stranger to making savvy acquisitions to propel growth, understands that providing cutting edge advanced analytics tools like Looker to Google Cloud’s enterprise customers is becoming table stakes.

Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau, its biggest deal ever, is another confirmation that aggregating customer data is far more valuable when you go the extra mile to help customers make sense of their data. As Marc Benioff explained, “Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers.”

Finally, Logi Analytics’ purchase of Zoomdata (Disclosure: my firm advised Logi on this transaction) highlights the importance of supporting enterprise customers with all of their data – whether its big data or live streaming data. Enabling developers to integrate advanced analytic visualization functionality directly into applications makes this a powerful combination.

Separate and apart from the specific reasons Google, Salesforce and Logi had for these specific acquisitions, there are bigger macro trends at work that go beyond the rationales for these individual deals. So far this year, acquisitions in our proprietary smart data index (comprising 1,522 companies from across the broader data and analytics ecosystem) have exceeded $32.4 billion in announced transaction value – that’s up from $13.4 billion for all of 2018! And this trend is further born out by the sheer number of smart data transactions this year: 109 (annualized) vs. 87 for 2018.

This frenetic pace is a clear signal of accelerating M&A activity as vendors jockey for position to acquire the best assets before their competitors do. And don’t be surprised to see non-traditional players like McDonalds, Roche, Munich Re and MasterCard entering the market as well as we continue to see a broadening of the buyer pool. Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss these trends and the implications they have for your business:

About Catapult Advisors and our Smart Data Initiative

Catapult Advisors is an investment bank serving the data-driven economy. Our specific expertise includes smart data (big data & analytics), communication technologies, and marketing technologies. Founded in 2001, the firm provides M&A and capital raising advisory services to privately-held companies, public companies, and several of the world’s leading private equity firms. Catapult has advised companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Israel. Our goal with our Smart Data Initiative is to better understand the broader big data and analytics market, it’s 1,500+ private companies, the acquisition focus of the large strategic acquirers, and the investment interests of growth-stage investors. By combining this deep sector expertise with our extensive transaction experience, we are able to provide value-added M&A and capital raising advice to our clients.

About the author

Ron Lissak is the Managing Partner at Catapult Advisors, an investment bank providing M&A and capital raising advice to leading software and internet companies.