Right as VC investment is reaching a new record, VC company OurCrowd published what they think will be the main tech trends following the pandemic. From supply chain innovation to quantum computing, have a read to discover these trends and the companies involved in them.
If there is one thing that the pandemic has done for us, it is most definitely the acceleration of technology adoption. Being locked down has drastically changed our habits in the way we work, the way we shop, the way we entertain ourselves and interact with each other.
The pandemic and the disturbances it brought along exposed the many inefficiencies of many processes and highlighted areas that had long needed improvement. The question now is the following: which technologies will have a tremendous impact on the way we lead our lives?
VC company OurCrowd has recently released a list of what they would consider the top tech trends to be, right when the global venture capital funding is reaching an all-time high of $300 billion in only half a year.
We will go through the 10 trends and name a few stocks similar in nature. Without further ado, let us jump into it!
#1 – Remote everything: there’s a second life in the virtual world
E-commerce, work-from-home, online gatherings, all these elements have the common denominator that they were always lived physically. However, this fact has been challenged more than ever in the past year. The inability to meet each other has forced us to find other ways and alternatives. Many events went virtual, or were even born virtual, never meaning to become physical again.
Zoom, Microsoft, Facebook, and other such tech stocks all greatly profited from the trend. Event platform Bizzabo also switched to provide tech meant to boost engagement in online and hybrid events. Companies that provided long-distance secure accesses or facilitated work from home all thrived and will likely stay very much used, think Slack Technologies, IBM, Okta, DocuSign, CrowdStrike.
#2 – Foodtech: Great dinner with a side of science
The plant-based and lab-grown food industry is not fetching a $6 trillion market potential. One of the main challenges of our food system is to come up with alternative protein sources to feed the ever-growing world population and protect the environment from a polluting meat industry. Animal meat is simply not making the cut anymore, and dozens of alternatives are seeing daylight, such as insect-based food, plant-based meat, algae and micro algae, lab-grown meat, and so on.
Big names in the domain include Beyond Meat which offers plant-based meat, Ingredion that supplies vegan ingredients to manufacturers around the world, but also Tyson Food, Kellogg, Conagra Brands, ADM, etc.
#3 – Retail: many more digital weapons at hand to seduce a customer
Digital and commerce are increasingly merging as companies keep tailoring their offer to each customer. Personalization, localization, chatbots, these are all services that are becoming the new normal. Customers can now experience virtual stores from their home, companies can provide personalized advertising to every customer, check out free stores are being created.
Start-up ByondXR provides a new service that lets users experience products via a virtual store, Clinch makes personalized advertising and Zippin came up with a check out-free store concept. Among listed companies, we can name Twilio which provides chatbots and APIs, and Affirm which enables you to buy now but pay another time.
#4 – Commodities: water is the new liquid gold
One of the elements we take as given but that might soon come amiss is water. Making sure that water is available to each and every citizen of the world is one of our great challenges. Though water technology companies have existed for a long time, “what we are seeing today is a new breed of companies which are truly technology companies. With significant and excellent IT in a range of fields, all the way into AI and cyber security, using machine learning to prevent hackers getting into critical water infrastructure.”
Start-ups like BlueGreen Technologies are leading in the field, this one focused on clearing toxic bluegreen algae from contaminated lakes. Other listed water stocks include American Water Works, Global Water Resources or SJW Group, among others.
#5 – Logistics: what was lame suddenly is not
Covid attracted the light on the fragility of our supply system. If we think about it, little has changed since the introduction of standardized containers in the 1950s. With e-commerce exploding in the past year, supply chains need to evolve and become more agile and efficient to keep up.
Many start-ups are now working to ease the bottlenecks we have experienced recently, such as Trellis that uses AI and cognitive learning to optimize food transportation. Other stocks active in the domain include Echo Global Logistics, FedEx, United Parcel Service or Forward Air Corporation.
#6 – Big Data: we should call it massive data instead
Big Data has invaded the world and is now part of our lives—in fact, it’s the new gold. The analyses of billions of data to derive new insights and make better strategic business decisions is now the norm for big tech companies. It is also continuously growing, with more and more users joining the internet, and more and more information collected about each user.
Materials Zone is a start-up that offers tools to harvest, interpret, communicate, and exchange science related data, while Bigeye proposes a service to clean and identify issues in the database such as unexplainable outliers for example. Many listed companies are also poised to rip the benefits from the continuing Big Data trend, among which IBM, Salesforce, Google, Oracle, andtela many more.
#7 – Health: why would you move when you can Zoom your doctor
You know what they say: “One telemedicine a day keeps the doctor away.” Alright, they do not. But online medical visits and remote monitoring are only the beginning of healthcare’s transformation.
Many start-ups like Doctolib’ managed to completely turn around a century old model of going to your doctor to get medical prescriptions on a piece of paper. Tytocare even when farther than that by developing a handheld exam kit for consumers to go through guided medical exams alone in their home. Teladoc Health is one of these stocks.
#8 – Spatial computing: AI is getting smarter by the day
Soon is the time where human-machine and machine-machine interactions will be as easy, if not more efficient, than human-human interactions. According to Elon Musk, AI will be vastly smarter than any human and might even overtake us by 2025.
There are many, many AI start-ups, working on solving IT solutions like Moveworks, enabling you to write better like Grammarly, find relevant information quicker in a given text like AlphaSense. Top companies involved in AI include Nvidia, Baidu, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, etc.
#9 – Energy: if it’s not green, clean and lean, there’s no point anymore
We now require two things: an increased supply of energy, but only on the condition that it is sustainably produced. Climate change is becoming more real than ever, and even old sceptics cannot keep their eyes closed anymore.
Start-ups working on sustainable energy production include Fervo Energy which harvest geothermal power, Oxford Photovoltaics which develops next generation solar panels or Kite Power Systems that creates commercial kite-driven power stations, with an advantage over wind turbines as flying higher lets them catch higher winds. Many listed stocks are also focused on these solutions, such as Brookfield Renewable Partners, First Solar or NextEra Energy.
#10 – Quantum computing: promising the impossible
Quantum computing performs calculations that no other computers can, and can help us with cybersecurity, drug development, financial modelling, solar capture and many other areas.
Spanish start-up Multiverse Computing provides a quantum software for the financial industry, and Riverlane came up with an OS for using quantum computers in an easier way. Listed companies that have the biggest activity in quantum computing include Alphabet, NVIDIA, Applied Materials and Advanced Micro Devices.
Note: None of the mentioned stocks are to be taken as recommendation. They are all listed to give examples and for informative purposes.
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