US buyers gorge on startups while Europeans nibble

U.S. companies have a massively greater appetite for startups than their European counterparts.

Over the past five years, U.S. companies have purchased about four times as many startups as European acquirers, according to a new report from CrunchBase and entrepreneurship foundation Mind the Bridge.

The study looked at about 6,000 acquisitions by European and U.S. companies since 2012 and found that U.S. acquirers completed 82 percent of the deals. U.S.-based companies also accounted for all of the 15 most active acquirers.


Here are some more of the findings:

  • Out of the 15 most active acquirers, 11 are Silicon Valley companies. The most active European acquirer, Germany’s SAP, is 33rd on the list. transatlanticmas_pics-05
  • Altogether, the top 15 most active European companies have acquired approximately the same number of startups that Google bought since 2012.
  • The U.K. is the most acquisitive European nation. Overall, U.K. companies have purchased more startups than Germany, France, Benelux, Spain and Italy combined.
  • The U.K. is also the top European producer of startups that go on to be acquired. Since 2012, 532 UK-based startups have sold. That’s more than 3 times the number of German startup acquisition and four times the number of French ones over the same period.
  • European companies buy more domestic startups but spend more on U.S. deals. About two thirds of European acquisitions studied were for E.U.-based startups. Purchases of U.S.-based startups, however, ate up nearly 60 percent of disclosed expenditures.transatlanticmas_pics-07

The full report “Startup Transatlantic M&As. US vs EU” will be presented at the European Innovation Day conference on September 12th in Mountain View, Calif.