The Rise of the Machines

The Rise of the Machines

In the early locked-down days of the pandemic, US businesses worried about finding enough customers to buy their products. Now, in a sign of how strongly the world’s largest economy has recovered, US businesses are worrying about finding enough employees to make their products.

As the pinch in the market has swung from consumption to production, a record number of companies have turned to M&A to make up for the missing manpower.

The strategy? Buy vendors that get machines to do the work.

The First Era of SaaS Ends

Already in 2021, 451 Research has tallied more deals that include the word ‘robotics’ than any year in history. The term has been referenced in some 66 transactions, putting this year on pace to roughly double the previous full-year record.

More than that, machines are making their way through M&A into an increasingly broad swath of the economy. Recent prints show well-capitalized buyers acquiring robotics firms for agriculture, shipping and even surgery, among other industries.

The shopping spree comes as US businesses increasingly report that they can’t hire enough workers to keep their operation going. And that shortage may end up costing them some business.

In the latest survey of more than 500 US respondents by 451 Research’s Macroeconomic Outlook, Business Trends, ‘labor/skills shortage’ topped the list of possible threats to sales at their organization – outranking even COVID-19 itself.


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