PitchBook Q4 2020 Analyst Note: 2021 Emerging Technology Outlook published with predictions of coming year 2021. Forecasting the primary trends that will shape the emerging tech VC ecosystem in 2021.
The emerging tech VC ecosystem exhibited varied amounts of resilience in 2020, as the COVID-19 affected each segment in a unique way. In this analyst note, our emerging tech analysts predict the trends that will shape the space in 2021, with specialized insights on all reported areas of Emerging Tech Research, including cloudtech & DevOps, fintech, enterprise health & wellness tech, agtech, and more.
Agtech: We expect field robotics will receive a record level of VC investment in 2021.
Artificial intelligence & machine learning: Within the horizontal platform segment of artificial intelligence & machine learning, natural language technology (NLT) will receive the highest VC funding.
Cloudtech & DevOps: Remote work technology represents a long-term megatrend with significant exit opportunities likely in 2021.
Enterprise health & wellness tech: We expect e-pharmacy incumbents to expand their reach across the drug distribution ecosystem via partnerships, along with increased M&A of startups that can deepen product offerings.
Fintech: Consumer fintech companies will fuel a record year of VC exits via public markets.
Foodtech: Plant-based, alternative protein and cultivated meat startups will see elevated M&A activity in 2021.
Information security: We expect five infosec unicorns to go public in 2021.
Insurtech: Insurtech VC investment will revert to higher levels driven by insurance distribution marketplaces and intermediaries in 2021.
Internet of things: Industrial automation incumbents will return to internet of things (IoT) M&A.
Mobility tech: A second wave of SPAC mergers focused on self-driving technology will mark 2021 investment in mobility tech.
Retail health & wellness tech: We expect digital therapeutics (DTx) startups to receive a record level of VC investment in 2021.
Supply chain tech: Last-mile delivery platforms are primed for major IPOs in 2021.
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