The startup world is constantly evolving. Just in the last decade, we’ve seen companies like Airbnb, Stripe, and Slack change the way we live — from more flexible travel accommodations to better communication and beyond. Investors anticipate that the next decade will be no different from previous years. And now more than ever, we’re building and relying on technology to enhance all stages and areas of our lives. It’s no surprise that tech-forward industries such as FinTech, Web3, and Climate Tech are on the rise, but you’ll also see startups focusing on end-of-life planning, culture, and even waste management in the headlines.
We did some research to find the hot industries and trends on the rise, according to VC predictions, so that you know what to expect.
Record-breaking investments are being made in the Climate / Climate Tech industry as startups gain traction. Climate tech is what it sounds like, technology that aims to combat climate. Between 2013 and 2021, $222 billion was invested in climate tech companies (PwC). The broader climate tech industry aims to tackle emissions and includes the following sectors:
- Mobility and Transportation
- Industry and Manufacturing
- Food, Agriculture, and Land Use
The founder of Nest, the Smart Home company founded by Google that is most known for its smart Thermostat, believes that startups can help solve climate change by making the right thing to do easy and convenient.
Our favorite Climate Tech startups:
- Benchmark Labs: AI-driven weather forecasting solutions for the agriculture, energy, and insurance sectors.
- AMP Robotics: Tech startup that’s created an AI-powered robotic system that can recycle waste.
- ZeroAvia: Zero-emission hydrogen powertrain for airplanes.
The Financial Tech market is one we are all familiar with. Dating back to the 19th century, Fintech has been around for quite a while innovating the delivery of financial services. According to partner at Index Ventures Mark Goldberg, FinTech is moving towards the Metaverse, Web3, and cryptocurrency. One notable startup in the space is Milo, which offers 30-year ‘crypto-mortgages’ so that individuals can use their cryptocurrency to invest in real estate. In 2021, Fintech investments grew rapidly totaling $131.5 billion.
Our favorite FinTech startups:
- College Cash: reduce your student loan debt with everyday behavior (OV Portco).
- Ellevest: A Robo-advisor investment app and financial literacy program for women.
Over the last few years, mental health has become more and more de-stigmatized, and the pandemic accelerated the need for accessible mental health care. Startups married technology and mental health services and the industry took off. Investors weren’t far behind — just in the first three quarters of 2021, 3 billion investment dollars went into digital mental health startups. The digital mental health category includes talk therapy platforms, medication management, and so much more.
Some of our favorite Mental Health startups are
- BetterUp: leadership and coaching sessions
- Hurdle: culturally-intentional teletherapy for underserved populations
- Real: reinventing health care on-demand, interactive therapy
- The Difference: the first on-demand 24/7 therapy platform for corporations and communities. (OV Portco)
End of Life / DeathTech / Eldercare
The Baby Boomer generation is the second-largest generational group after Millennials. With such a large portion of the population entering old age, there is a large need for technology and services to accommodate them. On top of this, many adults prefer to age in place or stay in their homes for as long as possible. Venture capital has put more than half a billion dollars into eldercare and home health care just in the first half of 2021, according to Crunchbase. These startups include remote care company DispatchHealth, a platform for adults to find companionship and help Papa, and software for home healthcare AlayaCare.
Our favorite End of Life / DeathTech / Eldercare startups:
- Blooming Health: an agetech service that connects providers with older adults (OV Portco)
- Lalo: a place to preserve your family’s stories & traditions (OV Portco)
- Cake: free end-of-life planning tools and resources.
- Eterneva: Diamond jewelry from ashes or hair.
FemTech is technology or technology-enabled solutions that support women’s health. This sector is made up of several categories you’ve probably heard of such as Menstruation, Fertility, and Prenatal Care. Well-known early players in FemTech include Modern Fertility, the developer of an affordable at-home fertility test. Just in the first three quarters of 2021, FemTech companies secured $1.3 billion in funding, according to Forbes. This market is only getting larger, with more venture capital dollars to follow. Leading investors in the space predicted their trends for 2022 with Forbes, including expansion of solutions to under-served populations and community-based consumer health.
Our favorite FemTech Startups
- Femly: 100% organic cotton period care and products (OV portco)
- illumigyn: a gynecological imaging platform
eCommerce isn’t a new industry. With giants like Amazon, Etsy, and Depop, consumers are shopping for just about everything online. While we were already shifting shopping from brick-and-mortar to online, the pandemic accelerated this movement. It’s estimated that eCommerce will account for $6.5 trillion in sales (Oracle. Big names such as Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Forerunner Ventures are predominate backers of eCommerce companies, their investments including well-known brands such as Warby Parker and Glossier. The eCommerce industry is poised for an exciting 2022, according to Rachel ten Brink. Here are her predictions:
Our favorite emerging eCommerce startup:
- Govalo: digital gifting for Shopify merchants (OV Portco)
Put simply, biotech is the combination of technology and biology. According to bio.org, biotech uses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies that help improve our lives and the planet. Biotech is used in several industries, including energy, food and agriculture, and human health. Crispr, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a tool for editing genomes. With Crispr, DNA sequences can be altered and gene function can be modified. Crispr applications include correcting genetic defects and treating diseases (Life Science).
Our favorite Crispr Startups
- Caspr Biotech: molecular diagnostics
- Hudson River Biotechnology: molecular breeding in agriculture to improve crops
We produce 2 billion metric tons of waste each year. It’s clear from this enormous number that we need eliminate some of our waste and come up with a better way to handle our waste. Waste management refers to the entire disposal process including collection, transportation, and handling.
Our favorite Waste Management startups:
- Bin-e: a smart waste bin that sorts and compresses recyclables
- Loop: reusable packaging that consumers can return
Autonomous vehicles have been around for a while now, and are becoming more and more accessible. However, Mobility tech isn’t limited to just autonomous vehicles. “Mobility is the technologies and services that enable people and goods to move around more freely,” as defined by Microsoft. Mobility tech includes transportation logistics, ridesharing, e-bikes & e-scooters, and connectivity (data management, cybersecurity, etc) in addition to autonomous vehicles.
Our favorite Mobility Tech startups
- Akash Systems: making the internet universally affordable and accessible with high-speed data transfer between space satellites. (Angel Investment)
- Moment.ai: a deep tech company that uses biometrics to detect driver health risks. (OV Portco)
- Gatik: autonomous deliveries for short distance b2b distribution.
Above are just a few of the industries we expect to take off or continue to grow over the next decade. With $329.9 billion of venture capital dollars invested in 2021, we’re sure that the years to come will be even bigger for startups. Overlooked Ventures is looking forward to watching and supporting companies in the markets above. If you’re interested in being considered for investment from Overlooked Ventures, apply here. And if you’re an accredited investor who wants to join us as we deploy capital into untapped talent, submit interest here.