Drones are falling. They were still hot last year, this year they are almost gone from the sky. They are replaced by a multitude of fun devices. As it becomes cheaper and cheaper to pack electronics into everyday objects, startups come up with all kinds of useful (or not) gadgets. Some people call that IoT, but each device belongs to a specific niche, so it’s hard to put them all in the same bag. The good news is that the Web 2.0 is dead: there is a huge opportunity outside your browser and startups are working hard to bring it to you — whatever it is.
A trend that is still rising is everything related to Food. T here are now well-established startups in that space, so I suspect we are entering the world of copycats and niche players. I’d venture to guess it’s too late to make it big in the food andbeverages space. But that won’t stop entrepreneurs from trying. At least startups are targeting a huge space: everyone needs to eat (and drink!). So we may still see some new winners emerge this year. The incumbents may be relying too much on VC money to subsidize the price of food and may feel pressure to raise their prices, creating new openings.
AI is slowly gaining traction. Last year, a startup could claim to do AI and think that was good enough. This year, startups try to solve real problems and claim that their AI engine makes them better than their competitors. It may be true, but usually AI needs a lot of data to work properly and it’s unclear how new startups could collect that kind of data early on.
Another trend that is refreshing to see is Charity. We are seeing an increase in the startups that have some charitable angle. Wether it’s helping the homeless or poor villages in Africa, entrepreneurs use their creativity to solve what are definitely not “first-world problems.”
AR/VR is stable compared to last year: the hype is still high. We haven’t seen a “killer app” just yet, but there are solid businesses that can be built leveraging those technologies.
What about Bitcoin? Gone.