Ad, Marketing, Sales Lead IPO, M&A Activity In First Half Of 2016

In the first half of 2016 there were 30 venture capital-backed advertising, marketing, and sales initial public offerings (IPOs) or mergers and acquisitions (M&As), including ad-tech companies and InnerActive, which exited for $100 million and $86 million, respectively.

Intel Capital had the most exits, followed by Google Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures, according to the report from CB Insights. Qualcomm Ventures and Tencent round out the top five. Intel Capital has held the No. 1 spot for each of the last 4 years.

Overall, IBM acquired the most on CB Insight's list, buying companies like Resilient Systems and Ustream. Microsoft took the No. 2 position, acquiring Swiftkey and Xamarin, while J2 Global and Cisco Systems tied for No. 3.

The first half of 2016 saw 1,591 exits — 1,564 M&A deals and 27 IPOs — compared to 1,910 exits — 1,864 M&A deals and 46 IPOs — in the first half of 2015.

Despite the numbers, venture-backed exits actually declined compared with the first half of 2015, per CB Insights. There were 338 VC-backed exits recorded in the first half of 2016 -- a 3% decline compared to the first half of 2015, which saw 350 exits. Most tech companies exited for less than $50 million.

Earlier in September, CB Insights released a report highlighting Google's M&A activity between the first quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2016 after Google announced that it would acquire Apigee, a publicly traded cloud software company, for $625 million. CB Insights counts the acquisition as Google's eleventh this year.

While Google typically makes the most of its acquisition in the fourth quarter of the year, the company already made four acquisitions in just the third quarter of 2016, according to the research note published Sept. 9.

Some of the most significant exits during the first half of 2016 were M&A deals completed by private equity firms, according to CB Insights. Meanwhile, the top VC-backed tech exists, per CB Insights, during the first half of the year include Acadia Communication's IPO for $820 million; Brightree's acquisition by ResMed for $800 million and Ping Identity's acquisition by Vista Equity Partners for $600 million.

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