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The 11 post-pandemic tech trends that VCs are chasing, from foodtech to 'spacial computing

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 18 Jul 2021


<p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5d7809a12e22af1b5a426ed7-1024/00mzrzkumql8bneru.jpeg" border="0" alt="lab grown meat" data-mce-source="BigThink"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><ul class="summary-list"><li>The venture-investing firm OurCrowd held a <a href="https://youtu.be/GmWkcCaDln8't=2069">virtual conference</a> this week on global tech trends.</li><li>Investor Alex Roy hosted 15 speakers from across the industry who named the most discussed sectors.</li><li>Here are the trends in tech that VCs said they're watching this year.</li><li id="recirc"><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/'hprecirc-bullet">See more stories on Insider's business page</a>.</li></ul><h3>Virtual and hybrid events</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/609eb3791b5cea0019c4518f-400-300/virtual-and-hybrid-events.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>While a large investment in virtual events came out of necessity during the pandemic, people have come to enjoy their flexibility and the possibilities for larger participation.</p><p>"We believe that the world of events is going hybrid," Bizzabo CEO Eran Ben-Shushan <a href="https://youtu.be/GmWkcCaDln8't=2069">told attendees</a>.</p><p>The virtual-event market has nabbed $4.83 billion in total venture-capital investments, PitchBook estimated. Some of the featured startups included Bizzabo, JumpCloud, and Papaya Global.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Foodtech</h3><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5a8d9a39391d9436008b46c5-400-300/foodtech.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>From plant-based food options to lab-grown proteins, foodtech startups such as Plenty, BlueNalu, Ripple Foods, and Aleph Farms are storming the multitrillion-dollar food industry with more sustainable options.</p><p>"The global alternative-protein market is expected to reach $27 billion by 2027," said Dr. Tammy Meiron, the CTO of Fresh Start Incubator.</p><p>PitchBook estimated that the "clean meat" sector has already raised $1.65 billion in funding.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>E-commerce</h3><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/60f19c5571757b0018c69ff9-400-300/e-commerce.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The pandemic accelerated a rapid shift to e-commerce. So tech that enhances or improves the online retail space is in high demand.</p><p>"It's all about removing friction from every step of the consumer journey," Andrea Wasserman, the head of global commerce at Verizon Media, <a href="https://youtu.be/GmWkcCaDln8't=2069">told attendees</a>.</p><p>Startups such as Clinch are creating hyper-personalized real-time ads using AI and customer data to target consumers, while companies such as ByondXR are building interactive virtual store experiences for shoppers.</p><p>In addition to traditional e-commerce, cashierless-checkout tech is growing rapidly: PitchBook estimated that VCs have invested over $1 billion in this sector alone.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Water</h3><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/6082f2254becb800190f6d88-400-300/water.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the climate crisis leads to more heat waves and droughts around the world, protecting and managing access to water may be essential.</p><p>"What we are seeing now is a new breed of water companies that are truly technology companies," said Eli Nir, an investment partner at OurCrowd, "starting from material sciences and going as far as AI and cybersecurity."</p><p>One featured startup, IXDen, uses machine learning to protect critical water infrastructure. Water-purification companies have over $4.3 billion in funds, Crunchbase estimated.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Logistics</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5f7204c70ab50d00184acc6d-400-300/logistics.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This past year showed the world how vulnerable our global supply chains can be and made logistics tech a top priority for investors going forward.</p><p>"It is clear that supply chains must evolve efficiency, capacity, and agility," said Ilan Reingold, the CEO of BionicHIVE, a logistics startup that builds automated robotic fleets for shipping warehouses.</p><p>VCs have invested $6.22 billion in warehouse-management tech, PitchBook estimated.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Data</h3><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60d26507db3f80001848d631-400-300/data.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Big Data is disrupting all aspects of our lives and may be essential in all industries going forward.</p><p>"We call data 'the new oil,'" said Stav Erez, a partner at Labs/02 in Jerusalem. Data-analysis and -visualization technologies may be key sectors for growth. PitchBook estimated that graph-data-analytics companies themselves have secured $2.1 billion in VC funds.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Medtech/digital health</h3><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60f19d9771757b0018c69ffb-400-300/medtechdigital-health.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Both patients and doctors switched to telehealth and virtual screenings around the world this year.</p><p>"Patients find it very convenient," said Dr. Paul Rothman, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.</p><p>New startups such as Tytocare and Sight Diagnostics are using robotics and smart sensors to help doctors treat patients remotely. Assistive-tech startups have seen $1.62 billion in funding, PitchBook estimated.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Spatial computing</h3><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60f19e5c71757b0018c6a000-400-300/spatial-computing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Spatial computing, which uses gestures to control computing devices, is changing the way users interact with computers and the world around them. Virtual reality and augmented reality are the most common varieties.</p><p>"Today we're seeing over 1 billion users of mobile AR," said Ori Inbar, an AR and XR industry expert, "which is a third of all mobile users."</p><p>While big names such as Facebook and Snap are dedicating large teams to AR and VR, VCs have also invested $21.8 billion in funds toward 1,422 AR startups, PitchBook estimated.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Climate tech</h3><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60f19f187b0ec5001800a6f7-400-300/climate-tech.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With tech giants such as Microsoft pledging to go <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/01/16/microsoft-will-be-carbon-negative-by-2030/">carbon negative</a> by 2030, climate tech could be a crucial area to watch as the climate crisis becomes harder to ignore.</p><p>"People can see climate change happening in their day-to-day lives," said Kathy Hannun, the president and cofounder of Dandelion Energy.</p><p>In addition to solar and wind energy, the hydrogen-energy sector is growing fast: PitchBook estimated that VCs have invested $12.91 billion in companies that are finding ways to make it more accessible.</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Quantum computing</h3><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5c8c3d3101df726817765045-400-300/quantum-computing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>While problems with scalability previously left quantum computing in the realm of science fiction, new tech is making it more accessible than ever.</p><p>"In a few years, we'll have large-scale quantum computers that will be able to perform tasks that no supercomputer in the world has ever done," said Nir Minerbi, the CEO of Classiq, an Israeli quantum-software company.</p><p>PitchBook estimated that VCs have invested $5.08 billion in funds toward quantum computing.&nbsp;</p></p><br/><br/><h3>Cybersecurity</h3><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/60f19f8671757b0018c6a00b-400-300/cybersecurity.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The recent high-profile <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/colonial-pipeline-ransomware-cisa-gas-crisis-agencies-hackers-2021-5">hack of the Colonial Pipeline</a> proved just how important cybersecurity may be for just about every industry in the future.</p><p>"This is probably going to be the best year ever for the cybersecurity industry," said Richard Stiennon, an IT-security-industry analyst and advisor.</p><p>VCs across the globe agree and have invested an astounding $83.48 billion into cybersecurity technologies, PitchBook estimated.</p></p><br/><br/>
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