The problem is that in the high tech world they are all little more than bit players. Valuation is a made up number to give the VC’s cover with their investors. Revenue is everything. 50m revenue may be huge by UK standards but little more than loose change in this business. The consumer software division I TD’ed 20 years ago had revenue of $40M, when the business had one tenth the revenue it does today, and my product group in the bigger scheme of things was a piss-ant little operation.
ARM’s revenue is, what $700M, and Autonomy about same. (Which means their real market value is .9 to 1.1 revenue). That puts them in the upper third division. Not small companies, but not big either. Just middling. But neither dominate or control a major sector. Outside mobile ARM dont do so well and there are far better margins in the other parts of the embedded market. Unstructured search? Who cares. Verity showed that outside the spooks market there is no money to be made. And they’ve been trying for more than 20 years.
What is very interesting is that in the valley Israeli companies have a far bigger presence than any European country. They are exceptionally good at growing companies in very well defined and targeted sectors and for those companies to survive and proposer. There are lots of Israeli high tech companies in the $100M to $500 space. Dozens of them.