From 2010 to 2019, our world transformed a lot. Service apps like Uber, Airbnb and others have spawned millions of users and can be found on almost everyone’s smart phone. Nowadays, we can rent other people’s homes by Airbnb, have food delivered by Foodpanda or Uber eats. Obviously, mobile internet has been at the heart of everyone’s lives.
Let’s look at the most downloaded apps of the decade, Facebook has dominated the Top 4 including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. We can see that communication and social media apps are consumer favorites, accounting for 8 of the top 10 apps by downloads this decade. On the other hands, in terms of Consumer spend, video streaming and music apps including Netflix, Pandora Music and Tencent Video were in the top five. Tinder was the most successful dating app of the decade in terms of consumer spend, coming in second place behind Netflix.
However, as a Venture Capitalist, I can’t help thinking “What’s new in 2020?” So, I’ve compiled a list of 24 startup trends to emerge in 2020 which are predicted by the most well-known entrepreneurial journalist sites including Forbes, The economics times, Fast Company, Gartner, Startup Basics. If you’re an entrepreneur or people who want to build your own startup in the future, you can consider how the following startup trends fit into your business plan.
Let’s begin with 8 prominent techs!
AI is no longer a concept, it’s everywhere to make processes more efficient, faster, and accurate. It has been applied to marketing tools, digital ads, smartphone, robots, drones, smart home and autonomous vehicles.
The Internet of Things is a system of machines, computers and people that are able to transfer data over a network. It’s one of the most lucrative sectors among startup trends, and will provide startup businesses opportunities to make an impact.
5G is the next generation of wireless network. We can see that 5G will begin to take hold, for example, may work as a catalyst for things like smart cities, smarter mobile, VR/AR, telemedicine and autonomous car.
Combined with AI, startups can succeed in 2020 by creating voice recognition technologies that meet the needs of a specific niche such as business services, manufacturing, education, healthcare. For example, in 2020, voice technology will become an integral part of older adults’ lives with proactive voice.
In 2020, We will be very hard to not mention blockchain, the next generation of Internet. Blockchain can record and track anything of value without middleman, such as financial transactions, intellectual property like music and medical records, and prevent from data tampering. The consensus from several entrepreneurial journalist sites believe blockchain technology can create a game-changing shift in a lot of markets.
Distributed cloud is how the cloud sector is shifting. Addressing regulation issues and latency issues is becoming much more important, and it will lead to a new era in cloud computing.
Edge computation is performed on smart or edge devices instead of a centralized cloud environment. In the future, computers like the size of your mobile phone may be able to take on workloads that only a data center can handle.
08_VR / AR/ MR
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are changing how people perceive the digital world. However, the mass adoption of AR is still not available. The supply chain folks say that it is at least 2-3 years away.
Next, we have 8 booming sectors from 9 to 16.
Smart healthcare is a health service system that uses technology such as AI, wearable devices, IoT, and mobile internet to dynamically access information, connect people, materials and institutions related to healthcare, and then actively manages and responds to medical ecosystem needs in an intelligent manner. For example, once a chronic diseases patient is discharged, there is an emerging need for devices that can monitor the health status in real time. All in all, Smart Health can lower the medical costs, provide greater access, and give everyone the very best doctor.
Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease, and it will take shape as one of the most promising technologies in the coming year. With predictive machine learning models, clinicians will be able to seamlessly forecast clinical events, like strokes, cancer, or heart attacks and intervene early with personalized care and a superior patient experience.
Smart Education is definitely a booming sector. Access to a good education can sometimes be restricted by factors like distance or budget issue. The pain point has thrived more and more smart education platforms that can provide the necessary education at a student’s convenience. According to statistic, about 46% of students have subscribed to online classes in recent years.
Fintech has disrupted traditional financial and banking industries and improved a variety of financial activities, such as remittance, bypassing a bank branch to apply for credit, raising money for a business startup, or managing your investments, generally without the assistance of a person. Furthermore, fintech will also boost e-commerce everywhere.
By keeping track user browse history and transactional information, Ad-tech startup develop its own algorithms, tools, and platforms that powered by AI and deep learning, which allow advertisers to manage their budget and optimize their ad performance.
14~16_Logistics / manufacturing / insurance
Compared to faster-moving B2C sectors, B2B Areas like logistics and industrial technology might be considered “digital laggards”. But the tide is now turning and back-office industries will see considerable change and present big opportunities in the coming 12 months. There are still plenty of opportunities to develop truly disruptive ideas and build enormous companies.
And finally, let’s see 8 forming trends of startup ecosystem from 17~24
Except for SaaS companies, more and more sectors like apparel, beauty, food, and lifestyle are moving away from one-time sales and transitioning toward subscription model. According to Business Wire, subscription businesses grew revenues about 5 times faster than S&P 500 company revenues and U.S. retail sales (18.1% versus 3.6% CAGR for both the S&P 500 and US Retail sales) in the seven years from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2018. Subscription model can not only make your revenue stream more reliable, but enable your company to scale up quickly.
Having seen a number of the world’s biggest startup success stories (like WeWork) slashed in value over the course of the year, it has become clear that a lot of capital has been wasted on ineffective business models and unsuitable founders. In 2020, we can see the budget of venture capital will tighten as fund management teams intensify scrutiny on business-model proof.
We already saw banks partnering with fintech startups. In 2020, startups have tendency to collaborate between themselves and build partnerships within and outside of their niche, whether with their systems, APIs or data.
Even though the impression of startup sector might be high pressure and long-hour in the past, we’ll see more startups showing their human side and becoming more open-minded about HR policies in 2020.
In 2020, more and more e-commerce platform will go offline, customers are able to interact with products before ordering them online. On the other hand, as the online ad costs surge, offline advertisement seems a good way for brands to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Startups that don’t accept big data will struggle. With Big Data, the startups can analyze their customers in a more detailed manner and thus save money on marketing by not approaching those sets of customers who are not their target customers. Besides, big data will become an essential component for digital ads, healthcare, supply chain management, manufacturing, etc. As a result, for Startups to not fall behind the trend, they need to include big data into their company for sustained growth.
The world is increasingly aware of the importance of protecting private information, we see that more legislation similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to be enacted around the world in the coming years.
With venture capital funds pouring more and more money into the industry, and independent business owners entering the market, the co-working space sector seems not lucrative anymore and the industry has had a tumultuous year. In the future, investors and customers will be looking for something more tailored and neighborhood-like differentiation.
From AI to 5G deployment, these hot topics are on the minds of venture capitalists. In 2020, these technologies will move toward the mainstream and begin impacting a variety of sectors. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s important to remember that embracing change and adopting new trends will guarantee that your startup remains competitive in the market. So, what trends are you going to make use of?