According to my friend Bryan Rutberg at Rutberg & Company, a technology banker, last month (December 2010), 40 private wireless companies announced $352.7 million in new financings. Investments were primarily in the enterprise infrastructure, consumer application and carrier application sectors. There were also 27 M&A transactions announced during the same period, including Motorola Mobility's acquisition of 4Home, AT&T's acquisition of QUALCOMM's FLO TV spectrum, and Dover Technology's acquisition of NXP's Sound Solutions business. Here's the link to the full report at Rutberg & Company Research: http://www.rutbergresearch.com/
Bryan has some interesting observations:
- Venture capital investing in mobile increased dramatically in 2010. During 2010, private mobile companies announced $6.1 billion in 416 financings, almost three times the $2.1 billion in 269 financings in 2009. In fact, the total for 2010 nearly reached the 10-year high in mobile of $6.4 billion in 2006.
- Who is doing the investing? The most active investors in were Intel Capital, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, QUALCOMM Ventures, First Round Capital, and 500 Startups. Three of the top eleven investors in mobile in 2010 were super-angel funds. Strategic investors continue to play a prominent role in mobile, with one in five financings involving a strategic investor.
- Mergers and acquisition rebounded too. During 2010, 283 M&A transactions were announced in mobile, as compared to 188 in 2009 and 192 in 2008. The most active acquirers in mobile during 2010, as measured by number of transactions, were: Google, Ericsson, RIM, and Apple.
- IPOs re-started. The IPO market saw a re-opening for mobile in 2010. Of the eight mobile IPOs in 2010, four outperformed NASDAQ and four underperformed, as of 12/31/2010.
For 2011, wireless is roaring in like a lion.