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Big companies in quickly-changing, engineering-intensive enterprises invest in startups. Following all, they have the revenue and need fresh new entrepreneurial expertise to faucet new markets and stay abreast of disruption.

That’s the collective wisdom about M&A in enterprise funds and startup circles. It is also how the enterprise business survives. Nevertheless IPOs could get extra notice, acquisitions account for the extensive the vast majority of startup exits and a the vast majority of enterprise returns.

But what if the widespread knowledge is not true? What if companies could do perfectly properly altering to changing disorders, beating rivals and sustaining enormous sector capitalizations with out shopping for scrappy startups?

To delve into that hypothesis, we employed Crunchbase information to enable assemble a record of the least acquisitive substantial-cap companies. The primary concentrate was engineering companies, but we involved other sectors for the reason that leaders in retail, purchaser merchandise, transport and quite a lot any other sector also devote seriously in tech.

The resultant record displays that several companies with reputations as innovators basically do not do a lot M&A. Some did in the past, but have reduce back or stopped in modern several years. Some others have in no way revealed an urge for food for acquisitions.

Right here are some of the most recognizable names on our record of major companies least very likely to invest in your startup.


Netflix appears to be like the kind of firm that would do a good deal of obtaining. It has a valuation about $60 billion, an impressive, threat-having corporate tradition and buyers who are cozy with the firm trading at a significant a number of relative to earnings. Nevertheless, according to Crunchbase information, the Los Gatos, Calif.-centered streaming video huge has in no way bought a startup (at least not a disclosed acquire).

While Netflix doesn’t invest in startups, it does have a history of paying generously on content material and licensing bargains. Before this thirty day period, the firm struck its very first licensing offer in China with the streaming system iQIYI. It is also entered into licensing bargains with a prolonged record of Hollywood studios, which include NBC Common and some others.


Shares of the graphics chipmaker have been on a tear for the past year, and the company’s sector price recently surged past $60 billion.

Nevertheless the Silicon Valley firm has only created a person acquisition in the past 6 several years, soon after a prior rate of about a offer a year. The very last time it created a disclosed acquisition was 2015, and that was a very small offer, paying out $three.seventy five million to receive seed-funded cloud gaming startup TransGaming.

Between 2002 and 2011, Crunchbase displays Nvidia building about a person acquisition a year, which include some substantial bargains. For its very last major acquire, in 2011, the firm bought Icera, a developer of cellular broadband modem engineering, for $367 million.

It is tricky to make a situation that not shopping for startups has been negative for Nvidia’s competitiveness. The firm posted a fifty % earnings surge for the 2nd straight quarter in its very last earnings report. Its net profits for the past year totaled just about $one.seven billion.

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments is a person of individuals companies that no a person in Silicon Valley talks about. Perhaps which is for the reason that it’s centered in Dallas, has been about since the nineteen fifties and has a model famously connected with 1970s calculators. Nonetheless, Texas Instruments is a major player in the semiconductor place, with a valuation about $eighty billion and financial gain of about $8 billion a year. It is also not very acquisitive these days.

The very last time Texas Instruments created a disclosed acquisition, according to Crunchbase information, was 2011, when it bought Nationwide Semiconductor for $six.5 billion. Probably TI is nonetheless digesting that huge acquire. Prior to shopping for Nationwide Semiconductor, TI was fairly acquisitive, shopping for about 10 companies from 2002 to 2011, which include some enterprise-backed startups. But it has not been back to the table in a prolonged time.

Applied Supplies

Applied Supplies is yet another firm that employed to do acquisitions rather usually but has not created a new a person in several years. Like Texas Instruments, Applied’s very last major acquisition was enormous. The firm paid out $4.9 billion in 2011 for Varian Semiconductor, a developer of semiconductor processing gear. For a firm with a sector capitalization north of $40 billion, Applied has in no way been specifically acquisitive. But 6 several years is a prolonged dry spell.

Although it has not been shopping for startups, Applied Supplies has been investing in them. Its corporate VC arm, Applied Ventures, has participated in at least forty six funding rounds since 2006, which include many in the past year.

The House Depot

We all know House Depot sells flooring, drills and other applications as a result, it is not anticipated to be snapping up quantum computing startups. But a good deal of startup innovation transpires in retail, as properly, so a person might hope a retailer valued at $one hundred eighty billion to invest in a several enterprise-backed companies to stay competitive.

That has not been the situation. According to Crunchbase, the very last time House Depot snagged a startup was 5 several years in the past. The hardware retail chain bought BlackLocus, an early-stage developer of pricing program that had earlier lifted a pair million pounds. The identical year, it also bought Redbeacon, a site for getting price estimates and getting specialists to get the job done on one’s household.

Other companies with enormous valuations that aren’t a lot into shopping for startups these days consist of UPS, Procter & Gamble and Citigroup. All have the financial methods for extra M&A, just not the urge for food.

One conclusion to consider absent from monitor data of these non-acquisitive companies is that shopping for startups could be extra a strategic choice than a necessity. It is evident several substantial-cap tech companies — Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Facebook, to name a several — have a history of equally obtaining a good deal of startups and sustaining enormous valuations. But plainly, which is not the only way to stay on top.