5 Emerging Startup and Technological Trends in 2021
We are coming to an end to a tumultuous year. We have seen startups struggle to adapt to an unpredictable epidemic. Some were able to quickly analyze new technology and consumer shifts that allowed them to withstand, reconcile, and even grow. Let us take a look at some of the big technological trends that will affect our way of living next year.
It is hard to predict how long the working from home order is going to stay in effect. According to an online survey of 803 people, it was found that 83% would like to keep working from home even after the pandemic ends. Still a fairly new idea, there are ways it can be improved upon. Another survey polled 1000 Canadian workers, revealed one out of three felt they were less productive in the current environment. This is because remote working was still a fairly egregious concept. A couple of months into working from home it was found that technology issues were a top barrier to productivity and employees felt that employers were not meeting their needs very well when it comes to supplying them with state of the art technology. Now, its popularity is opening new doors to improvement and investment in new technology like
Remote Training tools — Remote working poses a new challenge for training. It is difficult in the current scenario to fly out employees to attend training sessions. New mechanisms allow the collection of company data and share it through engaging hands-on experience. Webinar apps like BigMarker let companies pre-record standardized sections of training to keep the whole process more efficient. A range of tools can also be used to create a self-service company knowledge base, where people can search to find useful templates, documentation, and guides.
Productive assistants — Remote workers need to quickly understand how they work in order to manage productivity, from peak times of concentration to distracting behaviours. New tools like productivity personal assistants can use AI to provide insights into user’s working patterns, revealing how much they switch context, as well as apps and websites that sink their time. A new market in anti-distraction tools also serves to protect workers from disruptive pings in apps and emails.
Creating a sense of connectedness — One of the biggest challenges is employees at home feeling a sense of isolation. Companies need to make use of technology to recognize peers e.g. Kazoo is one of the many platforms to help organizations create a sense of connectedness by allowing them to recognize and reward each other online for the good work they have done.
This infographic shows us a percentage trend detailing some remote working statistics around the world for next year that entrepreneurs could use to analyze the future for the work home environment.
2. Advancement of 5G
Another very important trend that will be seen in 2021 is the advancement of 5G. It started to roll out in 2018 but only started to spread in 2019. It represents the next generation of faster mobile connections. You can find more information about 5G and its uses here. Technologies that will benefit most from 5G are Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), video streaming, mobile games, and the general Internet Of Things (IoT) as they require high speeds to function. These exist in 4G connectivity but are limited in terms of speed which causes lag in large systems. Startups can capitalize on 5G by testing their products on 5G related apps and make improvements if necessary. Investing in AR and VR can help build convenience to consumers related to demonstrating your product’s features to clients. For example, Ikea launched an AR app that allows users to test Ikea products in real-time. In order to visualize a product within a space, the application scans the room with their phone camera and can browse through various Ikea products to make their selection. Investing in revolutionary 5G technologies will help you stand out from the crowd and prepare for next-gen connectivity.
2020 was supposed to be the year that 5G propelled into the mainstream environment where consumers sought out this technology. The continued advancement of 5G is more critical than ever with Covid- 19 changing the way we live. People are staying at home, maintaining their distance from each other forcing them to rely on broadband service, which 5G will amp up. This represents the next generation of connectivity and will be ingrained into our lives with major innovations in play.
3. Autonomous Delivery
The introduction of autonomous delivery robots is expected to revolutionize the last mile delivery system, providing a cheaper and efficient way of delivery. The combination of a need for humans to distance and a worldwide increase in the demand for home delivery accelerated the rollout of Personal Delivery Devices (PDD) robots as well as government regulations that give them the freedom to roam the sidewalk at speeds from 5 to 25 miles per hour to support last-mile delivery. Here are some reasons why having autonomous delivery in 2021 will be beneficial in the current state of affairs
a) Last-mile delivery has been one of the primary problems in the supply chain which is being further exacerbated with Covid- 19. With increased consumer expectations on quick delivery times, logistics are becoming more and more complex with increased traffic congestions. Hence, various retailers and consumers are looking for better modes of delivery.
b) Covid- 19 has also seen an increase in contactless delivery. Gone are those days when you have to pay for your goods on their arrival. This is an opportunity for autonomous robot companies to grow. Many vendors are banking on similar predictions that restaurants and grocers will increase their dependence on convenience technologies to meet consumer growing needs. Many companies will be investing in the growth of delivery robots.
c) Although there are several initiatives for airborne delivery systems such as Amazon Air, they are not enough to bridge the gap in last-mile delivery and logistics. Autonomous robots can serve customers at a more economic cost, deliver at odd hours, and travel more distances in a safe manner.
This Infographic depicts the trends in the autonomous delivery industry for the next 4 years.
4. Decentralized Financing
Decentralized Financing (DeFi) primary goal is to give everyone access to traditional financial services by providing a borderless, and uncensored financial ecosystem based on blockchain and smart contract technologies. With DeFi people have access to financial services and complete control of their assets and decisions over them. The traditional financial use cases like trading, lending, borrowing, payments, and insurance can be coded into smart contracts and apps to create a peer to peer financial network. Some of Europe’s largest venture funds including Index Ventures, Creandum, and Octopus Ventures have pooled in large investments into DeFi. The major plan is to create a new decentralized financial system where payments, trading, and transaction of value happen over new rails driven by tokens and peer to peer exchanges. The maturity of this sector will see a massive market share replacing traditional mediums. With the current increase in the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin this type of investing will be popular quicker than we think.
Here, as you can see DeFi gets rid of banks and other financial institutions. In DeFi a decentralized/distributed ledger is held by everyone on the network eliminating a need for a central authority. To learn about two very popular traditional funding mechanisms for startups, click here.
Globally about 2 billion are unbanked. This means they do not have an account with any financial institution. China has the world’s largest unbanked population, followed by India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. With the increase of decentralized financing, we will see a lot of potential in the startup markets intensify in these countries.
5. Advancements in Biotech Technology
With the increase of vaccine development, telehealth and telemedicine sector, it is a no-brainer that the biotech sector is going to be an emerging industry in 2021. It is predicted to reach $775 billion in the next four years. This number is expected to grow even further as DNA analysis is becoming more advanced and widespread. Some of the big changes we see in Biotech are
a) The production of personalized medicine thanks to advancements in genetics. The implication of this is that healthcare is more personalized and customized based on human DNA. This paves a way for companies to make more personal kinds of medicine.
b) Before, data management was difficult to assemble, organize, and interpret. But because of the new development of cloud management, it is much easier to store and handle the information produced in laboratories.
c) Another trend to watch out for is the improvement and development of drug research. The use of smart technology will allow for the improvement, better assessment diagnosis and treatments using medication. This will be along the lines of telehealth where its technology bridges time and space, so patients will not have to leave the comfort of their home to receive a thorough consultation.
An example of a company that uses advancements in Biotech is ‘DNA Nudgeband.’ It allows you to receive nutrition recommendations specifically for your DNA. Products in this category use AI to figure out the best exercise routine or skincare products for your unique DNA fingerprint.
This graph shows us the Series A investors who have invested in Biotech up to September 2020. Most of them are US-based Biotech venture capitalists, with Versant Ventures closing six deals this year. Their biggest investment is the launch of Matterhorn Biosciences.
The outlook for the Biotech industry is very positive for 2021 because its fundamentals are intact and innovation is continuing, and there is large scale access to capital. It is transforming medicine as we know it, even if slightly hidden from the public eye.
So we were able to see some of the underlying trends that will have an impact on the startup world. The current environment we live in is fickle. We cannot accurately predict if these trends will stay in the long term or perish. However, all we can hope for is the innovation that pushes new boundaries and helps us look to a safer, healthier future.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel as well to receive exclusive content and notifications!
VenturX is a web platform that helps entrepreneurs through their journey from idea to launch and beyond. VenturX uses data-driven analytics to score and connect startups and investors at Seed and Series A financing.