2014 was a revolutionary year for tech exits, from the largest global IPO ever (Alibaba) to Facebook’s purchase of mobile messaging service WhatsApp for a whopping $22 billion in the biggest VC-backed acquisition to date.

In the past year alone, CrunchBase captured over 2500 acquisitions and 288 IPOs worldwide.

U.S.-based companies accounted for the vast majority of these exits, but startups out of up-and-coming tech scenes in Africa and South America recorded more successful exits last year than ever before.

The medical devices, consumer goods and financial services industries saw the most dramatic increase in number of acquisitions recorded, while hardware, marketing and clean tech all saw slight declines.

E-commerce companies represented a good chunk of 2014’s biggest IPOs, from Chinese retail giants Alibaba and JD.com to Boston-based furniture retailer Wayfair and Seattle-based sales site for moms Zulily.

Despite the public offerings for Yodlee, Lending Club, and OnDeck, the total number of IPOs captured in the finance market declined 32% from 2013.

Share your IPO predictions for 2015 with us and join the conversation at #CBDaily.

Image via Flickr user Daniel Bernasconi

  • Originally published January 8, 2015, updated April 26, 2023