Partners U.S. investment banking firm Signal Hill to expedite the process

The Indian software product industry is set to play host to a slew of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), with think-tank iSPIRT rolling out a number of initiatives to get the ball rolling.

The software product lobby, which broke out from the Nasscom fold earlier this year, has now forged a partnership with U.S-based investment banking firm Signal Hill, which will help Indian product start-ups find successful partners.

iSPIRT is also executing an M&A ‘Connect Program’, which is specifically dedicated to expediting cross-border mergers and acquisitions. It plans on ensuring that nearly 40 Indian product start-ups will be acquired over the next three years.

IT services

According to industry insiders, a recent visit by a team from iSPIRT to the U.S found that most American technology-focussed VC firms still thought of India as a hub for IT services, and found it difficult to identify candidates for acquisition.

In fact, in May this year, the think-tank held discussions with M&A professionals and senior executives from Autodesk, IBM, Intel, Facebook, Paypal, eBay and NTT Docomo to identify what needed to be addressed to improve M&A activity in the U.S-India corridor.

According to members of iSPIRT, the decision to sign on Signal Hill, which is an independent advisory boutique, is the first step in building a proper M&A ecosystem in India.

“In Silicon Valley, companies buy firms that create new technologies that fill gaps in their portfolio or to expand into newer areas. Such M&A could bring meaningful exits to Indian product start-ups. Since technology buyers are predominantly based in the U.S., we are trying to create a bridge between them and Indian product start-ups,” said Jay Pullur, CEO of Pramati Technologies, who is spearheading the initiative, in a statement..

Signal Hill has an investment banking team of over 70 people and has completed more than 50 transactions in the last five years.

Mid sized deals in the software product space could range between $20 million and $250 million.

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