In 2017, the machine vision industry reached a fevered pitch. Robust growth was experienced industry-wide, attracting the attention of equity and corporate investors, and a number of headline-capturing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) took place. While this growth has slowed some since then, the machine vision industry is still seeing strong growth and will continue to in the near future.
Buyers, sellers, and investors have averaged at least one deal per month since the middle of 2017. In some months, three or more major transactions have been completed. There are no signs the machine vision industry will see any slowdown in this type of activity.
Types of Machine Vision Market Activity Occurring
In machine vision, most M&A activity has involved corporate investors looking to expand their product portfolios, intellectual assets, human capital, geographic reach, or technological and manufacturing capabilities, as well as private equity investors looking to capitalize on promising growth prospects.
Thus far, private equity firms entering the machine vision space have had an eye on buy-and-build strategies, looking to gain a foothold in the industry in addition to capitalizing on its rapid growth.
Machine Vision Consolidation a Clear Trend
Amidst all of this market activity, consolidation of machine vision companies has emerged as a clear current and future trend in the industry. Originally, consolidation helped machine vision position itself as an enabling capability in a wide range of markets, and now competitive demands in these same markets is fueling further consolidation.
Oftentimes, consolidation occurs when large international companies realize the value of machine vision and desire to incorporate it into their broader plans for automation. Additionally, end users are continuously desiring more robust machine vision solutions in fewer steps. Buyers of machine vision companies see accelerated growth potential, greater capacity for innovation, and an improved time to market to help meet customer needs and fuel their business’s growth.
The future of the machine vision industry looks bright, with strong funding and M&A activity predicted in the short-term. More and more companies are realizing the value of machine vision and its role in automation.
As large, international corporations continue to add machine vision to their portfolios, consolidation in the industry will continue, as will innovation and growth.
To learn more on this topic, take a deeper dive with our Feature Article, “Momentum Behind Machine Vision and Automation Fuels Strong Outlook for M&A and Funding Through 2019.”