Salesforce buys Tableau in deal of the decade

The US cloud software giant spent a massive $15.7 billion to acquire the analytics firm.
Read time 6min 40sec

Salesforce’s Tableau acquisition dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, Naspers’ latest acquisition was one of the main local stories.

Key local news of the past week

  • A half-year loss from Labat Africa, despite a 461.5% rise in revenue.
  • Mixed year-end figures from Capital Appreciation, a fintech group, with revenue up 19.6% but trading profit down 7.5%.
  • A full-year loss from YeboYethu.
  • Mixed trading updates from MultiChoice Group and Naspers.
  • A negative trading update from Etion.
  • Alviva acquired Synerg Group, which helps businesses to leverage software in order to achieve operational efficiency in all areas of a business, from operations to human capital. The deal was worth R90.1 million.
  • Naspers’ PayU bought Iyzico, a Turkish digital payments firm, for $2.4 billion.
  • Siemens Digital Industries Software has signed an agreement to acquire assets of SA-based ESTEQ, a distributor of product life cycle management, product design and simulation, and manufacturing operations software and services.
  • Travelstart, an online travel agency, purchased SA-based Club Travel Group.
  • The merged departments of communications and telecommunications and postal services will be known as the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by AYO Technology Solutions.

Key African news

  • Ethiopia is aiming to award telco licences to multinational mobile companies by the end of the year, ending a state monopoly and opening up one of the world's last major closed telecoms markets.
  • Swedish ICT giant Epson Europe will set up an office in Zimbabwe.
  • The appointment of Markus Sebastian as Align Technology’s VP for the EMEA region.
  • The departure of Simon Beard, EMEA SVP for Align Technology.

Key international news

  • Apollo Global Management acquired Shutterfly (for $2.7 billion) and Snapfish, which the private equity giant plans to combine to create a bigger player in online photo services.
  • Dassault Systemes bought Medidata, a US-based software firm for clinical trials, for $5.8 billion.
  • Canada-based Enghouse Systems purchased Espial, a provider of next-generation, cloud-based software that enables video service providers or operators to deliver video and entertainment services. The company also bought Sweden’s ProOpti, a Nordic software provider in the telecoms expense management and technology optimisation management sectors, as well as Vidyo, a provider of enterprise-class video software solutions that support visual communications across diverse end-points, networks of varying bandwidth and geographically dispersed locations.
  • Epic Games, the make of ‘Fortnite’, acquired Houseparty, the video-chat app.
  • HF Company bought VOXX International’s German Accessory Holdings, which comprises the operations of Oehlbach Kabel and Schwaiger, for $19 million.
  • Intel purchased start-up Barefoot Networks in a bid to scale up the smaller company’s networking chip technology to compete against Broadcom.

Huawei has applied to trademark its Hongmeng operating system in at least nine countries.

  • PTC has acquired Twnkls, an augmented reality services firm, and hired a McKinsey executive to start a new digital transformation solutions group in a bid to accelerate customer adoption of its software.
  • RealPage, a leading global provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, bought almost all of the assets of CRE Global Enterprises, a holding company for Hipercept, which provides data services and data analytic solutions to institutional real estate owners, with over $500 billion in assets under management.
  • acquired Tableau Software, an analytics firm, for $15.7 billion.
  • VMware bought Avi Networks, a leader in multi-cloud application delivery services.
  • Facebook invested in a stake in Indian e-commerce start-up Meesho.
  • Private equity firm TPG will buy gaming-as-a-service provider Accel Entertainment in a deal that will give the gaming firm an enterprise value of about $884 million and a public listing.
  • China has officially launched Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style tech board, with the country’s top securities regulator cautioning that the hotly anticipated Star Market will face various challenges initially.
  • Huawei Technologies has told Verizon the carrier should pay licensing fees of about $1 billion on over 200 of its patents, thus escalating tensions between the Chinese company and the US.
  • Huawei has applied to trademark its Hongmeng operating system in at least nine countries, including Canada and Cambodia, as well as in Europe, in a sign it may be deploying a backup plan in key markets, as US sanctions threaten its business model.
  • Good year-end numbers from Codemasters Group Holdings and SheerID.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Enghouse Systems.
  • Satisfactory half-year numbers from Oxford Metrics.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Elektron Technology, Iomart Group, Soitec and Volex.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Cheetah Mobile.
  • Mediocre year-end numbers from CML Microsystems and Eckoh.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Broadcom, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Quarterly losses from Finisar, Renren, Slack Technologies and Tufin Software Technologies.
  • A full-year loss from Avanti Communications.
  • The appointments of Ryan O’Hara as CEO of Shutterfly; and William Bishop as interim CEO of Alaska Communications.
  • The departures of Christopher North, CEO of Shutterfly; and Anand Vadapalli, CEO of Alaska Communications.
  • The death of Gary Burrell, co-founder of Garmin.
  • An IPO filing for Hong Kong from Alibaba Group Holding.
  • An excellent IPO on Nasdaq by CrowdStrike Holdings, a cyber security company.

Research results and predictions


  • According to IDC:
  • The MEA personal computing devices market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, declined 13.4% year on year in Q119.
  • The EMEA smartphone market reached 83.7 million units in Q119, a 3.3% drop on the same quarter last year. The total value was down more steeply, at $26 780 million at retail value before sales tax, just over 10% less than in Q118. Feature phone sales reached 45.9 million units, more than two-thirds of which were shipments to Africa.
  • Africa's smartphone market saw a 7.1% decline in QOQ shipments in Q119 to total 21.5 million units. The continent's two biggest markets, Nigeria and SA, underperformed due to seasonal effects, posting QOQ declines of 14.7% and 23.4% respectively


  • Global shipments of NB-IOT (narrowband) devices reached 53 million units in 2018 and are expected to almost triple in 2019 to 142 million units, according to Berg Insight.
  • Global cellular IOT module shipments increased by 16% in 2018 to a new record level of 221 million, according to Berg Insight. Annual revenue grew faster, at 24%, reversing the previous trend of decreasing average module prices.
  • Worldwide all-in-one PC shipments are expected to shrink 5% on year to arrive at only 12.8 million in 2019, a weaker performance than expected previously because of the US-China trade tensions and Intel's ongoing CPU shortages, according to Digitimes Research.
  • Worldwide spending on the IOT is forecast to pass the $1 trillion mark in 2022, reaching $1 trillion in 2023, according to IDC. It predicts the CAGR for IOT spending over the 2019-2023 forecast period will be 12.6%.
  • The roll-out of 5G is forecast to contribute $700 billion to the global economy by 2030, with a CAGR of 20%, according to IDTechEx.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 0.2%
  • FTSE100: Up 0.2%
  • DAX: Up 0.4%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 0.4%
  • S&P 500: Up 0.4%
  • Nasdaq: Up 0.5%
  • Nikkei225: Up 1.1%
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.6%
  • Shanghai: Up 1.9%

Look out for


  • Further developments or fallouts from the US/China trade battle.

South Africa:

  • A possible buyer for Webafrica, an ISP that was established in 1997.

Final word

African Business magazine has recently published its listing of Africa’s top brands. Included in the top 50, from a technology perspective, are:

  • 3: Samsung
  • 5: Tecno
  • 7: Apple
  • 8: MTN
  • 10: LG
  • 13: Airtel
  • 14:
  • 15: Nokia
  • 17: Itel Mobile
  • 18: Huawei
  • 22: Orange
  • 23: Sony
  • 26: Infinix Mobile
  • 27: Google/Android
  • 30: Global
  • 31: Econet
  • 34: HP
  • 36: Toshiba
  • 45: DStv
See also