Union Square Advisors 2020 Outlook report
Despite the robust pace of M&A activity over the last decade – which ballooned from $144 billion in 2009 to $430 billion in 2019 – geopolitical developments in 2019 created a lingering cloud of uncertainty, setting the stage for the decade ahead. While this uncertainty remains, Union Square Advisors forecasts that 2020 will be a successful year for M&A activity across the board, and specifically within the technology sector. Here are some highlights:
- Ready for Anything: Tech M&A in Uncertain Times: While there continues to be an abundance of cash in the hands of corporates, private equity, venture capital and public investors, a more cautious sentiment toward buying and investing developed this year. Despite this “proceed with caution” mentality, Union Square Advisors believes investments and acquisitions in tech will continue to accelerate and deliver more cost-effective solutions for enterprises and their customers.
- The Year 5G Gets Real: Greater Bandwidth Will Bring New Capabilities to the Cloud and the Edge: Building on momentum from 2019, Union Square Advisors expects 2020 to be another big year in terms of investment and M&A dollars being funneled towards the cloud – thanks, in part, to the capabilities of 5G. Competition among carriers, device manufactures and cloud venders will intensify as they seek to capture their share of new markets made possible by 5G.
- The Value of Visibility: Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will Help Build Relationships and Drive Sales: Through the adoption of AI practices and techniques – such as dynamic creative optimization and computer vision – Union Square Advisors foresees that companies can provide accurate and actionable insights on content and user behavior that will be highly sought after, and will dramatically transform the digital media landscape in the year ahead.
- The Power of Convergence: Integrated Software Solutions Offer More Than the Sum of Their Parts: Through customization and real time delivery, Union Square Advisors expects to see a surge of interest in data platform companies that can leverage end-to-end data in ways that guide strategic decision-making, enhance customer connections, ensure compliance and mitigate risk.
- Make Sure Your Capital Structure is Right for the Times: Avoiding Equity Risk by Re-Examining your Debt Stack: As we enter into the 11th consecutive year of economic growth, Union Square Advisors believes every business should take steps to put its financial house in order – especially technology companies with debt – starting with a re-examination of its financial status as it relates to capital structure and debt financing needs..
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