Data spotlight: Big Fish ranks as largest VC-backed acquisition in December

Yahoo maintained its acquisitive pace at the end of last year, acquiring venture-backed BrightRoll Inc for $640 million.

The San Francisco-based startup, which provides an online video advertising platform for targeting consumers, had raised $40 million in venture funding from True Ventures, Felicis Ventures, SoftTech VC, Scale Venture Partners and others, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

For Yahoo, the deal sustains CEO Marissa Mayer’s acquisition spree in which the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company purchased 11 known VC-backed companies last year. Its acquisition of BrightRoll was the largest, according to Thomson Reuters. The 11 purchases were nearly on a par with Google, which bought 13 VC-backed companies in 2014.

For Yahoo, buying BrightRoll is a big boost for the company’s video advertising platform. BrightRoll is reportedly profitable and is assumed to have sales of more than $100 million a year.

Other companies Yahoo bought last year include Cooliris, FlurryLuminate, Meh Labs and Wander, among others. Meh Labs is the maker of Blink, a messaging app in which users send texts that self-destruct at a time set by the sender.

Since joining Yahoo in 2012, Mayer has been stepping up the company’s efforts to build online services for smartphones and tablets that consumers increasingly use to go online. Yahoo said it has about 430 million monthly users of its mobile products.

Overall in December, a total of 25 venture-backed, U.S.-based companies were acquired in the last month of the year, including eight deals that combined had a disclosed acquisition value totaling $2.5 billion.

That represents a 37.5 percent drop from November’s total of $4 billion in combined venture-backed M&A involving 37 companies, according to Thomson Reuters.

Besides BrightRoll, some of the noteworthy deals in December include Big Fish Games Inc, which was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc for $900 million. Seattle-based Big Fish, a game developer, had raised about $12 million from Balderton Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Salmon River Capital, according to Thomson Reuters.