Ovum tracked 76 deals across eight sectors, including IT services, wearables and connected car.
Intel announced its $16.7 billion acquisition of chipset maker Altera. Verizon Wireless, Google and Qualcomm each made at least one acquisition over $1 billion.
The number of IoT related acquisitions grew from four deals in 2011 to 19 in 2015, while the number of investments peaked in 2013, as companies such as Fitbit attracted more interest from the technology and telecom sectors.
A group including venture funds from Telefonica, NTT Docomo and SK Telecom, made $115 million investment in ultra-narrowband network provider Sigfox. This was the biggest single investment in 2015.
“While telecoms are more interested in IoT, the data show that vendors like Intel and Qualcomm, and technology giants like Google, are putting the most money into the sector,” said Ovum Senior Analyst Francesco Radicati.
Telecomss are becoming more active themselves, by setting up their own venture funds and startup accelerators and by making acquisitions to support their existing strategies.
For example, Verizon purchased Hughes Telematics in 2012 and Vodafone acquired connected car service provider Cobra in 2015, said Ovum.
The IoT market is likely to grow from $157.05 billion in 2016 to $661.74 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.3 percent.
According to MarketsandMarkets, software solutions will dominate the IoT market — driven by the increase in adoption of connected devices and smart technologies. North America is expected to dominate the IoT market due to the technological advancements and early adoption of IoT in the region.
The IoT market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021 due to technological adoption and huge opportunities across industry verticals in Asia Pacific countries, especially India, China, and Japan.