2020 proved to be a year of unprecedented challenges that fundamentally impacted just about every aspect of the world as we know it. No doubt books can and will be written about the various events that characterized the year. Without lamenting too much on topics that have become staples of today’s videoconference small-talk, on behalf of myself and my team at Intrepid, we only hope that you and your loved ones were able to finish the year safe and well. Now, as vaccines begin to be distributed and the end of the lockdown starts to become a tangible sight on the horizon, we are looking forward to 2021 with great optimism and excitement.
Unlike the notable slowdown in M&A that accompanied the early months of the pandemic, the second half of 2020 was marked by a wave of aggressive buyer and investor interest that has continued to drive deal-making momentum into 2021. As the global impacts of COVID became more defined and better understood, strategic acquirers began pursuing new initiatives to help better position themselves for the COVID economy and beyond, while financial sponsors, who before the pandemic were sitting on record levels of dry powder, began fervently competing for quality assets in a scarce market. By the end of the year, M&A markets were once again thriving. 2020 proved to be a record year for Intrepid and, more specifically, our Commercial & Consumer Technology (CCT) practice, which closed five transactions in 2020 across gaming, pro audio, consumer electronics, and residential technology.
Across the CCT sectors we cover, many of our prospects enjoyed their best years on record, buoyed by pandemic-driven demand and a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. As one would expect, we witnessed many examples of incredibly strong growth in areas like audio, video, and lighting accessories that enabled productivity in the new work-from-home economy. Also prevalent was massive growth in content creation, music technology, and gaming as many individuals used the time at home to rekindle their creative passions and weekend hobbies. We expect this content creation trend to continue for the long run and many companies in that ecosystem are receiving significant investor and buyer interest. Some of the keys to maximizing value as a private company in the fast-growing and competitive space include having trusted brands, differentiated products, and robust direct-to-consumer and eCommerce strategies.
As we look forward to a world after the pandemic, we believe that many of the positive trends in our industry that have surfaced over the past year are here to stay. This presents massive opportunities for entrepreneurs in this space to thrive and will drive the need for capital and strategic partners. If you are interested in learning more about what is going on in the markets or potential options for your business, please do not hesitate to reach out.