Where is the investment money going?
Did you see that Apple had a revenue problem? Not as many iPhones are selling. “Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) says the mobile wave, which is split between mobile phones (voice/SMS) and smartphones, is coming to an end, and the next obvious market for growth is cars.” Ben’s blog is here and the slide deck is here.
The Autonomous car has big investment from everyone from GM to Apple to Google to Tesla to hundreds of other companies. It is where we are heading. (It is just another robot!)
Robotics. Global investment in robotics doubled from 2014 to 2015 to almost $600M, according to Financial Times. Robotics is going to replace a ton of workers.
Life Science (or biotech) is still healthy. From cancer treatments to testing, investment in this sector is still good, largely because R&D spending at Big Pharma has shrunk in total dollars due to consolidation. Also, Big Pharma drug pipelines are lean; they tend to buy new drugs, treatments and tests these days.
The ancillary to this is the IoT Healthcare sector which saw a rise of 20% in 2015 investment, according to CB Insights. One problem being faced is clinical efficiency, which is tracking treatments to boost the effectiveness of healthcare providers as well as to improve the delivery of healthcare in hospitals and clinics via connected devices/objects. That takes us into wearables, ingestables, brain sensors, home monitoring and more. A lot of cool stuff in this space, especially happening here in Tampa Bay.
In Colorado and California, cannabis startups are the rage. Legal marijuana sales are tracking at 3x Coke’s bottle water sales.
Education technology is also seeing investment, but our education system sucks, so I am ignoring it for now.
CHATBOTS, PERSONAL ASSISTANT and Other forms of AI
Matt Swanson, Paula Bernier and others think that “chatbots will cause a near-term disruption in how businesses interact with consumers, and a long-term paradigm shift in how people interact with machines.” See Matt’s article on VB.
Paula writes about Facebook, chatbots and customer service here. Thomas Howe wrote, “As alternatives to websites and to mobile apps, Chat bots, digital assistants and intelligent agents are the quick and efficient way to connect your employees and customers to your business.” Companies like BizTexter and KISST are already shipping services (and they did it before Facebook!)
Financial Technology is looking good. When there is a best of list of conferences for a sector, you know there is money there. The Fintech startup scene, according to CB Insights, has been healthy for a while. Pretty much the way Craigslist sucked a lot of revenue out of newspapers, banking startups will suck some profitable lines of business from Wells Fargo and other large banks. Hopefully.
BTW, Payments startups saw a shift in the last two quarters. Digital wallets like Apple Pay are here. Investments will slow as winners start to emerge (like in the ride sharing space).
Latency Arbitrage is why latency matters to anyone in financial. Listen to why.
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