January 25, 2023
CH-Schwyz, 19th January – 2023 Swiss data provider MARKABLES (Trademark Comparables AG) reports outstanding growth in 2022, even in a challenging economic environment with a substantial downturn in global M&A and corporate transaction markets. The company, which specializes in providing market data and analytics to support the valuation of intangible assets like trademarks, customer relations, software, technology, and goodwill, reports a 45% year-on-year growth in 2022. Two substantial thresholds were exceeded: registered users passed the 10,000 mark – a plus of 21% year-on-year -, and they came from 100+ countries.
Intangible assets is one of the major topics in value creation, finance and strategic management. There is consensus on the paramount importance of intangible assets in the global digital economy and how they became dominant drivers since the beginning of the millennium.
Over the past half century, we have witnessed a silent revolution in terms of what factors are really driving business valuations. Total investment in intangibles grew at a much higher rate than in tangibles. In 2008, intangible investment overtook tangible investment in Europe and the US [Haskel, Westlake; Capitalism without Capital]. Cross-border payments of royalties and license fees for intellectual property have increased by an average 9% annually since 2005. [OECD statistics]. New applications, grants and in-force IP assets registered with IP offices globally increased at similar rates [WIPO]. As a result, intangible assets as a proportion of book value for the S&P 500 has risen to almost 70%, from 40% in the late 1990s [Aberdeen Asset Management]. Even more importantly, intangible assets as gap between book value and market capitalization of listed companies increased from 17% to 90% between 1975 and 2020 for the S&P 500 US, and to 75% for the S&P Europe 350 [Ocean Tomo].
Growing investment in intangible assets, increased management attention, and regulatory requirements (like IAS, IFRS, OECD BEPS, patent boxes) resulted in a fast-growing need for the valuation of intangible assets. Such valuations are performed by independent valuation professionals for M&A, IP transaction, tax, transfer pricing, financial reporting, audit, litigation, corporate finance, private equity, equity research and IP management purposes.
The evolution of corporate value being ascribed to intangible assets necessitates that current accounting systems evolve in step. In today’s financial statements, there is still a large information gap between book value of assets and market value of the business. Many CFOs of listed companies think about disclosing the value of their internally created intangible assets to their investors. Similarly, regulators started discussions if and how internally generated intangible assets need to be disclosed in financial statements. With this upcoming evolution, intangible asset valuation is expected to move to another level.
MARKABLES strives to be always one step ahead of this dynamic market. Since its launch with trademarks in 2014, the company has successfully developed and launched the new asset classes customer relations and goodwill. In 2022, the company released data for software and technology, now covering 95% of all intangible assets. Among other things, the company has plans to enter wholesale distribution of its data via large financial data vendors, and via integrated software solution providers.
Christof Binder, MARKABLES co-founder and managing partner said, “We are proud to have achieved another year with phenomenal growth in a challenging economic environment. The success of our new products and the increase in registered users from various industries and territories demonstrate the importance of accurate data and analytics to support the valuation of intangible assets.”
MARKABLES is a 24/7 web-based data vendor which caters to the needs of valuation professionals all over the world. MARKABLES is owned and operated by Trademark Comparables AG, a privately held company located in Switzerland. Trademark Comparables AG is independent and fully self-financed.