[CHART] E-Commerce Led VC-Backed Tech Exits Last Year

The e-commerce market is maturing, and that was reflected in the flurry of acquisitions last year of online retail businesses, as well as a number of high-profile initial public offerings.

In fact, e-commerce led as the tech industry that saw the greatest number of venture-backed exits in 2013, according to data from venture capital database CB Insights, compiled by BI Intelligence.

Out of the 450 venture-backed exits in the technology sector last year, 16% were e-commerce companies. It’s considered an “exit” when a company is either acquired or becomes publicly traded.

The deal activity is an indicator of how bullish investors and market participants are in the fast-growing e-commerce industry.

Google, Wal-Mart, Amazon and other corporate giants all acquired companies in recent years that did something in the e-commerce space — from having online retail stores to facilitating digital payments to providing analytics software that tracks online retail sales. Some e-commerce companies, such as Zulily, even resisted buy-out offers and instead opted to raise additional capital through an initial public offering, allowing it to continue operating as a standalone company.

BI Intelligence expects e-commerce deal activity to be red hot in 2014 as well. Coupons.com recently went public at a valuation that exceeded $US1 billion, and many investors are eagerly awaiting online Chinese marketplace Alibaba’s IPO, which is expected later this year.

For access to all BI Intelligence’s e-commerce industry analysis, including downloadable Excel files, subscribe to a free trial subscription today.

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