Five years ago, when we started pitching theDOCK idea and opportunity to investors, one of the feedback messages we kept getting was- “OK! It is great to hear how digital solutions disrupt traditional industries, the maritime sector included. But what about the Exits? Do you have evidence to any M&As which took place in the space?”
This was a tough question, one for which we didn't know the answer to (back then). So we have put one of our business interns to research and monitor transactions.
Our analysis culminated with the first of its kind Maritime Tech M&A infographic, which we published in 2018, in an article (by Hannan Carmeli - see below figure)- that became the most shared and widespread piece of thought leadership published by theDOCK to date.
Since then, it was proven that the trend we forecasted emerged into a solid industry with more than 30 accelerators/early-stage funds/CVCs (Corporate VCs) present today. All initiated their operations in the last 5 years, following pioneers such as theDOCK (and a couple of others) which recognized the trend early on.
In this report we are happy to provide you, our Navigator II LPs - a glimpse into our most recent version of the annual Maritime Tech- M&A analysis.
It is easy to get a feel of the difference between 2018 and 2022 by taking a quick look at the visuals and observing the difference in the density of M&A transactions (see the figure below): in our original analysis from 2018, we recognized 27 M&A deals (2016-2018) with growth trajectory over the years, but still modest in absolute numbers; whereas, now, i.e., till Q2 2022,- we tracked over 200(!) transactions, all provided liquidity and capital returns to the early investors of the acquired companies.
A couple of fresh observations from the new infographic. We witness preliminary PE (A-KKR, Francisco Partners, etc.) activity in the sector- which emphasizes the trust in the growth potential of the acquired companies and the maturity thereof; second, we see more and more cases of (mature) startup/platforms such as Flexport, Project 44- which absorbed early-stage companies to complement their product offerings.