Q4 2015 Exit Analysis: 24 exits totalling $7.67 billion

In Q4 we tracked 24 exits totalling a disclosed $7.67 billion

After a Q3 which saw the highest amount of exits in a quarter that we’ve tracked since we started The Nordic Web, Q4 had a lot to live up to. And it managed it, for the most part, with only one exit less than Q3, and with total disclosed exits amounting to a massive $7.67 billion, mainly due to King’s $5.9 billion exit to Activision.

The majority of exits were acquisitions, although there was an increase in companies going public compared to Q3. This also contributed to more exit values being disclosed this quarter, with only 11 of the 24 exits undisclosed, which also helps the total amount of exits in Q4 seem so high.

Sweden continued their dominance of exits in the region, as after 18 months of a fairly even split between countries for exits, in the last 6 months, Sweden has really accelerated and the money that has been pumped in is starting to come out.

Companies from within the Nordics continue to be the most dominant buyers, as more established companies are looking to pick up the regions tech companies to help themselves become more relevant. Companies from the United States also continued to shop Nordic in Q4.

King’s exit to Activision dwarfed everything else this quarter, although Acano’s $700 million exit to Cisco is also certainly worth noting, especially as it was the founding teams second exit to Cisco. Talking of second exits, it was also a second exit for King, after they originally went public at a valuation of $7.1 billion in 2014.

Exits have certainly increased year on year, with the 24 recorded in Q4, second only to Q3’s 25 in the last two years, with Q4 ’15 compared to Q4 ’14 seeing a 71.43% growth in number of exits.

However, it’s not all rosy, and I’ll end this analysis with a word of warning. Despite exits increasing, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the investors putting their money into Nordic tech startups and companies are necessarily getting a return, with only 20.83% of the exits actually VC backed. A lot of this is due to a large majority of the companies exiting in Q4 being more traditional older tech companies. It takes time for investors to see returns, so patience is required here, and in all likelihood, we will see an increase in VC-backed exits over the next couple of years.

We will be publishing our exit report for the whole of 2015 next week, so keep an eye out for that, but in the meantime:

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Neil S W Murray founded The Nordic Web in 2014 in order to provide the Nordics with the quality coverage it deserves. As well as being Founding Editor of The Nordic Web, Neil is also an active community builder in the region, participating in a number of initiatives, and has previously worked for Tech.eu.