When it comes to acquisitions, it’s clear that Twitter had been spending more money on acquiring technologies and talent in 2013 than in the past few years.
According to the company’s recently filed S-1, Twitter spent $52.2 million in cash and stock on acquisitions in 2012. In the first half of 2013, Twitter spent double that, $112.5 million on acquisitions. Note, this does not include the company’s largest acquisition to date, MoPub, which was purchased in September for $305 million in stock.
Other acquisitions made after June include Trendrr and Marakana (it’s unclear how much the company spent on these acquisitions). Even without these numbers included in the tally, Twitter has spent over $417.5 million on acquisitions this year (which isn’t over).
That’s a 700 percent jump in acquisition spend over the past year.
According to the filing, Twitter spent $52.2 million on 10 acquisitions in 2012, which include Dasient ($19.1 million), Summify, Cabana, RestEngine, Vine, Nclud, Posterous, Hotspots.io, Clutch.io and one other unnamed acquisition. Together, Twitter spent $33.1 million on these acquisitions (minus Dasient). Twitter also agreed to put up as much as $28.5 million of cash and equity consideration (i.e. bonuses) contingent upon the continued employment of some of the employees of these acquired companies.
In the first half of 2013, Twitter spent $112.5 on acquisitions. These include Crashlytics ($38.2 million in stock), Bluefin Labs ($67.3 million in stock), an unknown acquisition that could be We Are The Hunted ($2.5 million), and three others that could be Ubalo, Spindle Labs, and Lucky Sort ($4.5 million altogether). It’s unclear if Spindle is a part of this group because the acquisition was made in mid-June of this year, and it may not have been complete by June 30. In addition, Twitter says it agreed to pay up to $54.9 million of equity to employees from these acquisitions on the conditions of staying at the company.
What’s not listed in the acquisitions note in the filing is the $305 million purchase of MoPub (though Twitter did add this in other sections), and the separate acquisitions of Trendrr and Marakana, which were both announced in August. It’s unclear how much Twitter paid for the latter two companies, but counting MoPub, it’s safe to say that Twitter has spent at least $417.5 million on acquisitions this year.
In 2011, Twitter spent $20.4 million (in cash and stock) for TweetDeck. The other acquisitions from 2011 include Julpan, Whisper Systems, BackType, Bagcheck, and AdGrok. The total purchase price for these acquisitions was $18.5 million in mostly stock, but a small amount of cash. Twitter also greed to pay an additional $15.5 million in cash and equity for employment. There have been other acquisitions prior to 2011, (Fluther, Smallthought Systems, Cloudhopper, Atebits, Mixer Labs, Values of n, and Summize) but the filing doesn’t elaborate on these in the note.
While Twitter has made a number of acquisitions for talent, the company’s biggest acquisitions add core functionalities to Twitter’s advertising platform. Twitter sees MoPub as potentially being a key foundation of the company’s mobile advertising efforts. Adding Bluefin’s technology is key to providing analytics to advertisers, especially when it comes to providing marketers with information about what people are saying about their brands from TV.
Dasient added anti-spam and malware security features and talent to Twitter, and Crashlytics brought app crash report tools to the company. Twitter’s purchase of search engine became the foundation for its own search. According to this Business Insider report, Summize’s acquisition could be worth around $800 million with the current value of Twitter’s stock.
As Twitter’s vision broadens, expect the company to continue to be aggressive with its acquisitions, especially with some of the billion dollars it raises in an IPO.
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