When March 2020 came around no one had any idea what the future would hold. Instead, it came with almost $200 billion in deals, record high tech stocks, mega deals, SPACs, and huge IPOs.
Covid has been a catalyst to enterprise adoption of tech such as cloud, security, collaboration, and artificial intelligence that we expected to see in the future.
We are entering 2021 with a little more clarity after the haze from the fires of 2020. Not just with a visibility into Covid-19 vaccines but also new administration in the US.
Biden administration will more of less be more favorable to the big tech and innovation. They are more favorable to immigration and will lax current laws to important talent for US companies so we will see how this impacts the remote work trend.
Here are some high level investment themes we are closely watching as we head into the new year. If you are a technical founding team working on some of these solutions then please get in touch with us.
Lot of these are horizontal ideas that work across industries. Our investments won’t be limited to these areas and we are also open to some vertical industry specific ideas as well.
1. General AI Tools
Companies that help AI developers be more efficient. This is still a large opportunity and the AI adoption in enterprise is just in its infancy.
2. Enterprise Compliance
More startups need to go through security and compliance checks such as SOC2 and HIPAA before they can work with their customers or go through M&A. We are looking to make a bet in specific thesis here.
Enterprise buying motion is changing. Decision making is shifting to disperse teams with ad hoc buying patterns. New tools around global and local vendor management, data around things like vendor product showcasing, supplier / buyer onboarding, etc.
We have recently made a stealth investment in this space but excited to do more.
4. API Management
With the rise of microservices there is a need for better management, discovery, security, search of APIs across companies and with their customers.
5. Product Discovery
Corporates are inundated with startup requests. We are looking for a way to manage and facilitate the process of startup discovery for large companies.
6. Dynamic Access Management
Managing application by application access and dynamic access as necessary is the next gen of data and identity management.
7. Metered Pricing / Value-based Pricing
We believe the current billing tools don’t work well with the next gen of usage based pricing companies.
8. Email and Application Security
Next gen of tools around phishing, spam, fraud, etc.
9. Data Tools
Companies around data lineage or cataloguing, synthetic data generation, data management.
10. Large Scale Online Transactions
Getting rid of manual invoices and payments even for large transactions. Bringing transparency, trust, and automation across all industries.
11. Marketing and Sales Tools
The one thing that’s clear is companies that nailed marketing during covid won in sales. Enterprise sales was hard without the “wining and dining” and tools that help companies close deals are essential.
We are closing an investment in this space but excited to track for some unique approaches here to help companies close large contracts.
Generally, companies that enable a future we can work in more productively, securely, and collaboratively
Future of work is going to be hybrid with in-person and remote offices but with better collaboration and knowledge management tools. The world has experimented with outsourced teams, local teams, and now we are entering a new wave of experiments with dispersed talent.
There will be a set of solutions and laws that emerge for this unique combination of global vision with a local touch that will provide distributed teams to manage employees from different countries / jurisdictions and the laws that govern respectively. Everything from onboarding, collaboration, performance measurement and employee benefits will be areas where startups can look to build scalable cost effective solutions.
This phenomenon will allow for quality talent to be accessible from anywhere allowing for more focus on building a company culture that fosters employee retention. Hiring remote talent can also allow for a more inclusive and diverse employee base.
Two vertical industries worth mentioning that we are excited about are health and fintech.
If you are starting companies in these categories, haven’t raised capital, and excited to build a fast growing large company then please reach out to Array Ventures. We lead and can follow first check rounds providing value-add on customer development and general go-to-market.
*If you agree with these areas of opportunities then please share this article and help reach future founders we can fund to solve these problems.*
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