10 Minnesota Tech M&A Trends Happening Right Now


After we published the 2017 Minnesota Tech M&A Liquidity Report last week, let’s take a step back and assess some trends that are happening here locally.

The following conclusions are derived from meticulously maintained market data. Never perfect, but the best there is thanks to local M&A pros and sponsor Franklin Partners.

1) 2017 was the busiest year on record in terms of aggregate deal volume!

2) SportsEngine (once again) was the busiest buyer on record in 2017 (6 deals in 2016 and 4 in 2017).

3) Maturity – it doesn’t appear that any Minnesota tech startup, per se, were acquired in 2017? Some early stage ventures such as Gravie or Bright Health made purchases of their own – but this is the first time since tracking started in 2012 that a local “startup” wasn’t bought throughout the course of a year.

4) There was a big jump in the number of local:local deals, where both the buyer and seller were based in Minnesota; in 2015 & 2016, that number was 6, while in 2017 it jumped up to 14.

5) Minnesota is sourcing more companies from California (5) and vice versa (7) than any other state; in other words, California and Minnesota are doing more business together than anywhere else – and not just Norcal.

6) Tech involving hardware saw a big jump to 10 in ’17 –  more than any year before it.

7) Healthtech was the most active product cluster in 2017 with 7 cumulative deals.

8) Tech transactions focused around devops, supply chain, and manufacturing markedly grew in 2017.

9) 2018 is tracking strong with 18 YTD, and the deals are getting BIG [1][2]

10) Legacy business media in Minnesota continue to ignore – as in not publish – majority of the Minnesota tech M&A activity – just like they do with startup funding.