Tech companies and trends to watch in 2022 crypto web3 nft fintech health technology climate technology ai
These businesses flourished during the pandemic. As billions of people have still changed their lives online, a myriad of opportunities have opened up for startups to explore.
Founders Factory CEO and Lastminute.com Founder Henry Lane Fox said: “We end 2021 in a significantly better position than how we started – despite the current challenges of the pandemic.”
Crypto and Web3 will be a ‘defining component’ of 2022
What is Web3? Think of the Internet, but add blockchains. Web3 will allow users to control and own assets, like data, by saving them on the blockchain.
The goal is to realign the balance of power away from tech giants like Facebook and YouTube, and to âdecentralizeâ the World Wide Web. Ownership and control will be fueled by the cryptocurrency, so the theory works.
(Web 1 and 2, if you’re wondering, refer to the early stages of the internet where sites like Yahoo dominated, followed by the rise of platform companies like Facebook and Twitter.)
Jambu Palanappian, Managing Partner at Canadian venture capital giant OMERS Ventures, said: âWe believe the intersection of these two themes will be a defining element over the next year as we see more widespread adoption by clients. and how regulators have chosen to approach the category.
âWe see crypto potentially emerging from a niche of finance and financial services to become a traditional asset class, legitimized by both investors and regulators. The idea of ââa decentralized financial system … becomes much more convincing. “
Climate technology companies will be ‘super hot’
COP26 allowed everyone to talk and invest in climate technology and ‘clean’ technology – technologies that provide green solutions to everyday tasks or help remove carbon from the atmosphere.
David Grimm, Director of Investments at the UCL Technology Fund, said: âWe are going to see startups developing clean transport getting stronger. “
He predicts that hydrogen will “finally begin to realize its potential” in clean transportation.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will hit the gaming world
NFTs – unique digital images secured on the blockchain – have been the biggest trend in consumer tech this year, growing from next to nothing to a huge industry that catches the attention of Adidas and Damian Hurst. Collectors, investors and speculators have invested $ 27 billion in the market this year, according to Chainalysis, which tracks the purchases.
âIn 2022, NFTs are expected to move from NFT 1.0 to NFT 2.0,â said Jay Wilson, chief investment officer of London-based venture capital firm AlbionVC.
âWhile TVN is becoming a cultural phenomenon like [Facebook/Instagram’s] I love and share over the decade before them, we are poised for a new era of NFT 2.0 with more depth and creativity.
He and his colleagues expect further adoption of NFTs in the gaming industry and “widespread use” in the music and fashion industries.
Addie Pinkster, founder of Adelpha, expects to see branded NFTs in games like Minecraft soon.
Buy now, pay later will keep on blowing up
Buy now, pay later – the online challenger to credit cards – has exploded in Britain during the pandemic, with more than 5 million people using it to fund more than Â£ 2 billion in purchases alone. ‘in Britain, according to FCA research.
Ian McLennan, partner at investment manager Triple Point Ventures, expects the momentum to continue into the next year.
“Neobanks are likely to accelerate the adoption of BNPL and other new financial products as they seek profitability in the years to come,” he said.
“The increased growth of ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) products is inevitable as fintechs attempt to engage younger customers.”
Elsewhere in fintech, GlobalData predicts a boom in so-called super apps, like WeChat or Revolut in China, which offer many services in one place. GlobalData’s Amrit Dhami said the value of mobile wallet transactions is expected to exceed $ 266 billion in the United States alone next year.
Health technology “one of the hottest sectors”
If the pandemic has made one thing clear, it’s how vulnerable our health services are to disease outbreaks. The solution, according to many investors, is to invest in new health technologies.
Investments in digital health solutions surged in 2021, fueled by a growing focus on wellness and a shift to virtual doctor appointments during the pandemic.
Keyvan Vakili, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School, said health technologies, including technologies to improve mental health, are likely to be “one of the hottest industries” next year.
âThe pandemic has put many gaps in the current supply of healthcare across the world into perspective and entrepreneurs quickly targeted these gaps with different creative ideas,â said Vakili. âGovernments and healthcare providers have also become more receptive to this innovative healthcare. solutions given the increasing pressure on them.
Experts also expect continued interest in femtech – a technology to help women during childbirth, menopause, and menstrual cycles. Startups in this space are currently seeing a surge in investment after decades in which research into women’s health has fallen to the bottom of the priority list. Frost & Sullivan predicts the industry will reach $ 50 billion by 2025.
“Bonfire” of fast grocery apps
Venture capitalists have invested huge sums in startups in the fast grocery delivery space in 2021. Apps like Getir, Gorillas, Zapp, and GoPuff are aggressively vying for market share.
Many experts believe the industry will consolidate in 2022, which means some companies will be taken over by competitors or be abandoned. Andrew Gwynn, analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said: âConsolidation is a given, it’s a question of pace … For some of these operators, their primary objective is to be bought out.
OMERS Ventures Managing Partner Harry Briggs called the situation a “bonfire”.
He said: “We started to see signs of this towards the end of 2021, with huge valuations followed by cost cuts and instinctive acquisitions, and I think this downward trajectory will continue into 2022.”
Valuations can come back to earth
Valuations of tech startups have skyrocketed over the past year. The number of unicorns – startups valued at over $ 1 billion – has skyrocketed: there have been 29 formed this year in the UK alone.
Some experts believe these sky-high valuations could moderate next year.
McLennan of Triple Point said: âHigher and sustained inflation is likely to impact valuations through 2022. The slightly higher inflation that we expect could lead to higher bond yields, which are likely to lower the valuation multiples of listed / technology stocks.
âThis in turn will have a ripple effect in the private sector. As a result, valuations could become more subdued. “
High valuations and the âbuzzâ don’t necessarily mean incredible returns for investors. Davis of Molten Ventures said some of the best bets are startups “providing real benefits to legacy industries.”
He pointed to the cloud-native Form 3 retail banking system and companies doing things like digitizing sanding sand delivery in the construction industry or offering last mile drone delivery. They might not be the sexiest companies out there, but they solve real problems.
Finally a focus on diversity?
The tech world has long been criticized as too white and too masculine. This year, just over 1% of overall venture capital funding in Europe went to founding teams made up entirely of ethnic minorities, according to Atomico’s State of European Tech report.
Evgenia Plotnikova, general partner at London VC Dawn Capital, says there is “still a lot of work to do”, but attitudes and candidates are changing.
Plotnikova said: âPeople are moving out of scale-ups, big tech and venture capital to start new businesses, regardless of gender and background. In addition, more and more investors and partners are women, and I hope this will create a positive ripple effect. “
Plotnikova, who previously worked at Atomico, was the youngest woman in Europe to be promoted to general partner in a venture capital firm.
Dawn focuses on the traditionally male dominated B2B software industry. Plotnikova said: âI am excited by the growing number of women running tech companies – companies that have long been mistakenly seen as just for men. Our laser focus on B2B software has allowed us to see an anecdotal but encouraging change. “
Companies to watch in 2021:
Palanappian Jambu: Fiscal automaton Fonoa.
Martin Davis: Cloud-native payment processing platform Form 3.
Disclaimer: Some of the experts are investors in these companies