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Twitter Bought As Many Companies As Cisco In 2012

2012 was the biggest year for private tech company acquisitions since 2009.

And Twitter was totally up in it.

A new report from research firm PrivCo reveals the details.

VentureBeat got a sneak peek of the 400-page report on mergers and acquisitions of private tech companies that PrivCo will be releasing on February 14.

Here’s the gist: in 2012, 2,357 private technology companies were bought for a combined total of $84 billion, which is up 22% from 2011.

But even more surprising is who is doing the buying.

The most acquisitive companies of 2012, Facebook and Google, each bought 16 companies. Groupon bought 12.

And Twitter? Twitter tied with Cisco, a $112 billion perennial acquirer, with 10 purchases in 2012.

As PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh told VentureBeat,

“Twitter actually buying as many companies last year as giant Cisco — and more than Apple, Oracle, SAP, Hewlett Packard, and other tech giants – that’s a first.”

So why all the acquiring last year? It’s partly due to the phenomenon of “aqui-hiring,” buying a company in order to acquire its employees.

Let’s take a look back at AllTwitter’s coverage of some of last year’s Twitter purchases:

- Twitter Buys Posterous (So You’d Better Move Your Content To Tumblr ASAP):

Twitter has acquired blogging platform Posterous, and the latter’s engineers, product managers and other staff members will soon be joining the existing Twitter teams so they can “make Twitter even better”.

- Twitter Acquires Design Agency Nclud’s Intellectual Property (And Co-Founders):

Twitter has acquired the intellectual property of design agency Nclud, and has brought some of its team into the flock. Nclud’s co-founder Martin Ringlein announced in a tweet that he has become Twitter’s new design manager, and that he and two other former Nclud employees were busy filling out paperwork to start their new lives at Twitter.

- Twitter Acquires Hotspots.io For Social Media Analytics and Data Team:

In what’s being called an aqui-hire, Twitter has just acquired social media analytics and data company, Hotspots.io. The Hotspots.io team, who are now part of Twitter’s “revenue engineering team,” includes Matt Huang, Alexander Spicer and Ashutosh Singhal.

- Twitter Acquires Social Networks Summary Team Summify:

Twitter has just acquired Summify, a social media summary tool, and will be bringing the team over to “the flock” to work with Twitter’s growth team.

- Twitter Acquires Online Security Firm Dasient To Beef Up Malware Protection:

In a bid to strengthen its resolve against malware and other malicious attacks, Twitter has acquired Dasient, an internet security company founded by ex-Google staffers Neil Daswani, Shariq Rizvi and Ameet Ranadive, for an undisclosed sum. The move appears to be largely a talent purchase, and Dasient will be bringing their “technology, tools, and team” to the revenue engineering team at Twitter, effective immediately.

Anyone notice a pattern…? Looks like Twitter’s acquisitions in 2012 are almost entirely based on talent-searching, as VentureBeat suggests. We’re looking forward to seeing more stats and intel in the February 14 report.

(Graph via VentureBeat, handshake image via Shutterstock)

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