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ZeroFOX Acquires Cyveillance

ZeroFOX announced that it has acquired the Cyveillance business from LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, which had acquired it in 2015. The combination brings together historical data, machine learning and human intelligence resources from both companies to focus on digital risk protection and threat intelligence.

Astute Acquires Socialbakers

Astute announced that it has acquired Socialbakers for its social media marketing capabilities. The company plans to merge its products into a single platform for customer experience management and insights.

Dassault Systèmes announced that it has acquired Proxem to strengthen its 3DEXPERIENCE data science platform and add virtual twin capabilities.

Proxem’s main product, Proxem Studio, joins NETVIBES EXALEAD in 3DEXPERIENCE, adding to the platform's available AI models and promising to transform content into a reusable knowledge graph. Dassault acquired Netvibes in 2012.

Talkwalker announced that it has acquired Nielsen Social and its Nielsen Social Content Ratings.

Dataxet announced that it has acquired Sonar Platform and NAMA (News and Ads Monitoring Agency), gaining both software platforms and full-service media analysis services in the deals. With the addition of offices in Indonesia and Malaysia, the Singapore-based company now offers services in ten Asian countries.

Dataxet has also formed a joint venture with the recently formed Truescope to extend the Australian company's reach to Singapore. Dataxet, NAMA and Truescope were all formed by alumni of Isentia.

Bazaarvoice Acquires Curalate

Bazaarvoice announced that it has acquired Curalate for its capabilities linking visual social media to commerce.

Babel Street announced its acquisition of the intellectual property assets of Dunami last month. Dunami's patented technology applies link analysis to topics, thought leaders and audiences, delivering trend and influence analysis. Babel Street plans to incorporate the acquired IP into its existing products, while continuing to offer it as a separate product.

W2O Acquires Symplur

W2O Group annouced that it has acquired Symplur for its specialist healthcare SMA platform. Symplur will continue to operate as W2O symplur, and W2O anticipates continued development on the platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

OBI4wan Acquires HowAboutYou

OBI4wan has acquired its long-time sales and implementation partner HowAboutYou. The combination puts the companies' efforts with commercial and public-sector clients, respectively, under one roof.

Decooda Acquires CX Workout

Decooda announced that it has acquired the CX Workout software platform from The Service Profit Chain Institute to add journey mapping and optimization to Decooda’s CX I.Q. platform.

NetBase + Quid Merge

NetBase and Quid announced their merger to form NetBase Quid. The combined company will build on social media analysis from NetBase and text analytics from Quid to offer insights from "all forms of structured and unstructured data."

Companies in social media analysis changed ownership 21 times in 2019—down slightly from 2018. As usual, most transactions are portfolio plays, companies adding to their technology and services capabilities, but private equity and public markets played a role again this year.

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 2019

Coming and Going
The vast majority of companies in social media analysis are privately held, but the occasional company makes the move to the public market—or back. In 2019, we saw one of each: an IPO for Sprout Social and a private buyout for Cision.

Acquisitions Leaderboard
Speaking of Cision, the perennial acquirer picked up Unmetric, plus and TrendKite, both of which had been acquirers in 2018. Cision cements its position atop the acquisitions leaderboard with a total of 19 acquired companies, including companies bought by companies that Cision later rolled up. The rest of the top five were quiet in 2019: Meltwater (14), Sprinklr (9), Hootsuite (8) and Twitter (8, but harder to count).

Buy and Operate
Sometimes, the exit strategy is no exit at all, as investors buy companies with the intention of operating them. ESW Capital added Synoptos to a company portfolio that already included FirstRain and Jive. Maps Group upgraded from major investor to owner of Roialty.

Portfolio Filling
The development of portfolio strategies has been fascinating to watch, as the menu board of perceived synergies and all-in-one packages keeps changing. Access Intelligence filled the social media gap in its catalog for PR, marketing and communications with Pulsar. NICE took Brand Embassy to add the digital to its customer experience platform. Brandwatch bought Qriously to marry solicited market research with social media analysis.

AirPR renamed itself Onclusive and added Ozmotic to its earned media toolset. Intrado (formerly West) bought Notified and started bundling in features from other acquisitions to build a one-stop platform for PR. After buying Nuvi in 2018, Brickfish adopted the Nuvi name and expanded its social media management business into healthcare with Banyan.

Tech Pickups
If the portfolio plays are adding to the menu, these deals are focused on the tech ingredients. Conversocial opened new channels of communication with Assist. Cheetah Digital went to the zero-party data source at Wayin. Easiware got machine learning and text analytics in Dictanova.

FigBytes added online engagement and insights from Unison for its sustainability platform. Trufan picked audience segmentation and advisers from SocialRank. Mavrck got influencer search and data in GroupHigh.

Strategic swaps
Infomedia bought M-Brain's media intelligence operations, except in Finland, as part of an alliance supporting the latter's refocus on competitive and market intelligence. In a less common arrangement, Percolate joined Seismic in a better-together strategy for content management.

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Sprout Social IPO

Trufan Acquires SocialRank

Trufan announced that it has acquired SocialRank, which will continue to operate as a standalone product. At the same time, the company has received $400,000 (US) in new investment from Round13 Capital.

The SocialRank founders will serve as advisors to Trufan while moving on to a new project.

Seismic Acquires Percolate

Seismic announced that it has acquired Percolate to combine the companies' capabilities in marketing management and sales enablement.

Unmetric Joins & Cision, a division of Cision, announced that it has acquired Unmetric. The company plans to merge the Unmetric product into the platform, continuing its strategy of building a unified social media marketing platform.

Cision (NYSE: CISN) announced that it has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Platinum Equity for $2.74 billion in cash.

Platinum Equity is a buy-and-hold investment firm with 40 companies in its portfolio.

Access Intelligence Buys Pulsar

Access Intelligence Plc announced that it has acquired Pulsar in a stock-swap transaction valued at £4.5 million. The addition gives Access Intelligence an enterprise social media intelligence capability to go with Vuelio and ResponseSource.

Pulsar's previous owner, Cello Health plc, has shareholders in common with Access Intelligence and retains an interest in Pulsar.

Infomedia and M-Brain have announced an alliance to provide a pan-Nordic media intelligence solution. As part of the deal, Infomedia has acquired M-Brain's Swedish and Norwegian media intelligence operations and its Estonian production facility. M-Brain will continue to provide media intelligence in the Finnish market, while shifting its focus to its products and services for market and competitive intelligence.

M-Brain previously sold Infomedia its media monitoring technology and international data business, which it had acquired in 2016.

Mavrck Acquires GroupHigh

Mavrck announced that it has acquired GroupHigh in a move that grows its Influencer Index tenfold. GroupHigh will continue as a subsidiary, while Mavrck plans to incorporate GroupHigh's blogger-search capabilities and profiles data into its own platform.

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