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Ignite Technologies and its parent, ESW Capital, announced last month the acquisition of Synoptos  for its media intelligence business. Synoptos, which was formed by the combination of Infoition and OhMyGov in 2014, will operate as Ignite Synoptos Solutions.

ESW is a frequent buyer of business software companies, which it continues to operate and grow. The company earlier acquired FirstRain and Jive Software; its complete portfolio includes more than 80 acquired companies.

AirPR announced that it has acquired Ozmotic for its content marketing and analytics. The combined company has been renamed Onclusive  to broaden its appeal.

Brandwatch Acquires Qriously

Brandwatch  announced that it has acquired Qriously to connect solicited, quantitative market research and social media intelligence. Qriously places survey questions on mobile phones through ad networks to conduct real-time research.

Conversocial Acquires Assist

Conversocial  announced that it has acquired Assist to add messaging automation and chatbots to its customer experience portfolio.

Cision Snaps Up TrendKite

Cision  announced that it has acquired TrendKite  for $225 million in cash and stock. The TrendKite platform will continue as a standalone product with a longer-term plan of integration into the Cision Communications Cloud product. Cision also announced the sale of its email marketing assets to an unnamed buyer in a $49 million cash deal.

TrendKite announced its intent to provide a one-stop digital PR tool when it bought Insightpool and Union Metrics in June 2018. This is Cision's second acquisition of 2019.

Companies in social media analysis changed ownership 25 times in 2018—down from 29 in 2017, but with more mergers of equals and an IPO to add interest. As usual, most transactions are portfolio plays, companies adding to their technology and services capabilities. Serial acquirers stayed in the market, and an industry watcher decided to be a product company.

Here's a recap of the year's deals. As always, you can find the latest deals and a record of past deals in the space at SMA's acquisitions scorecard.

Acquisitions in social media analysis 2018

Mergers and the Rare IPO
More than usual, 2018 saw companies combining in deals described as mergers. Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon brought together two enterprise-grade social media analysis companies. Spredfast and Lithium married for a more complete vision of customer engagement. TrackMaven and Skyword combined strengths in content marketing.

Comintelli joined the industry's short list of public companies after it started trading on the Spotlight market.

Portfolio Pickups
Meltwater continued its acquisitive ways, rounding up the DataSift platform and team and forming a new social analytics business unit from Sysomos. TrendKite revealed a one-stop digital PR platform strategy when it added Insightpool and Union Metrics.

Ipsos added Synthesio to its global insights portfolio as a branded subsidiary. Brickfish picked up Nuvi to combine social media analysis with its GroundSpark social campaign manager. YouGov bolstered its social media analysis and data science with Portent.io.

Falcon.io added social advertising and analytics with Komfo and its team. Mynewsdesk got web and social media monitoring in Mention. Quotient went shopping for influencer marketing and found Ahalogy.

Technology Pickups
Cision got image recognition technology and talent in ShareIQ. Slyce bought the Ditto Labs IP and image-recognition technology platform. Twitter went for security-related tech with Smyte.

Positioning Plays
YouScan consolidated its position in Russia and the CIS region with BrandSpotter. StatSocial picked up Macromeasures to combine their strengths in social data and analytics. Linkfluence acqui-hired a new CEO and engineering team and gained a US office with Scoop.it, collecting complementary technology along the way.

Ebiquity sold its ad intellience product to Nielsen to refocus on its marketing measurement and optimization services. Unison added a strategic marketing services unit with Brand Machine.

Category Change
Industry analyst Forrester previewed its emergence as a product company with its acquisitions of Feedbacknow and GlimpzIt.

Watch This Space
The private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners bought most of Talkwalker with an eye on product innovation and international expansion.

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Cision Acquires Falcon.io

Cision  announced that it has acquired Falcon.io  to integrate social media campaigns across paid, owned, and earned media. The Falcon.io product will remain available separately and will also be integrated with the Cision Communications Cloud. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cision has been a serial acquirer since its 2014 merger with Vocus. For the complete list, see SMA's acquisitions scorecard.

YouGov Acquires Portent.IO

Portent.IO announced that it has been acquired by YouGov  for its social media analysis and data science capabilities. The Portent.IO team has joined YouGov. Their product will be rebranded as YouGov Signal, which will expand from its film and TV roots to serve sports and brand clients.

Comintelli Completes IPO

Comintelli  announced that its shares have begun trading on Stockholm's Spotlight Stock Market after an oversubscribed initial offering.

Slyce Buys Ditto Labs IP

Slyce announced that it has purchased the intellectual property assets of Ditto Labs  for its visual search platform. The acquisition includes patents and patent applications, plus other digital assets of Ditto's image recognition technology platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Synthesio Joins Ipsos

Ipsos announced that it has acquired Synthesio  in a cash transaction valued at more than $50 million. Ipsos plans to maintain Synthesio as a standalone business unit, which will keep its name and leadership.

TrackMaven and Skyword Merge

TrackMaven  and Skyword have announced their merger in a combination of strengths in content marketing.

Brandwatch  and Crimson Hexagon  have announced their merger. The combined company will retain the Brandwatch name.

Linkfluence  announced that it has received $21 million in a series D investment round from Ring Capital and Tikehau Capital. The company also announced its acquisition of the content curation and analysis specialist Scoop.it in a pooling of technology talent and resources.

Linkfluence gains its first North American office in San Francisco, and Scoop.it CEO/co-founder Guillaume Decugis becomes the CEO of Linkfluence.

Brickfish Acquires Nuvi

Brickfish  announced that it has acquired Nuvi  to add social media analysis to its product portfolio. Brickfish offers GroundSpark, a social media planning, publishing, and analytics platform that emphasizes collaboration.

Nuvi's Levi, UT office becomes a second location for the Chicago-based Brickfish.

Spredfast and Lithium Combine

Spredfast  and Lithium Technologies  have announced an agreement to merge their companies. The combined company will be privately held by Vista Equity Partners and led by Lithium CEO Pete Hess. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mynewsdesk Acquires Mention

Mynewsdesk  announced that it has acquired Mention  to add web and social media monitoring to its integrated communications and PR platform for SMBs. The existing Mention service will remain available for now. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched in 2003, Mynewsdesk joined NHST Media Group in 2008 and is currently active in the Nordics, UK, Germany, and USA. Mention claims 650,000 active business users in more than 125 countries.

Cision  announced that it has acquired ShareIQ, a media intelligence platform for visual media. The ShareIQ platform will be available to Cision customers, and the company plans to integrate it into its Communications Cloud platform by the end of the year. ShareIQ will be dissolved as a company, and its leadership, product management, development and engineering teams will join Cision.

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) announced that it has acquired FeedbackNow and GlimpzIt  in a step toward building a real-time customer experience platform, CX Cloud. FeedbackNow makes a physical device for collecting customer satisfaction data, which will be one input to the planned platform. GlimpzIt technology will contribute to analysis of the feedback data.

TrendKite  announced that it has acquired Insightpool  and Union Metrics  as part of a strategy to create a complete digital PR platform for marketing and PR. The company plans to integrate technology from both acquisitions, while Insightpool and Union Metrics will both continue their operations and existing services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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