Feb 14 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By February 15, 2019 Insight

1.  Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?

  • Seed investments are down by any measure (funds, deals, dollars) over the past 3 years in deals < $1 million AND in deals between $1–5 million.
  • The venture industry as a whole grew massively, mostly due to the IPO window for tech startups being pushed from 6–8 years a generation ago to 10–12+ years today.
  • As a result of the IPO window shifting we saw a massive inflow of public-market capital into the latest stages of venture. Round sizes of > $100 million or more now account for 47% of all VC dollars (62% if you count rounds > $50 million)

2. Five AI Solutions Transforming B2B Marketing

  • Eighty percent of B2B marketing executives believe AI will revolutionize their field in the next five years, and a recent survey of marketers identified AI as the technology they are most likely to implement by 2020.
  • Marketing executives identified AI as the trending technology they were least prepared to handle. Moreover, only 13% of marketers stated they felt very confident in their knowledge of AI.
  • Predictive analytics and automated email messaging can advance your AI strategy, and when combined with customer insights, data personalization, and AI content creation, your company and marketing team can scale an AI strategy to support your broader business initiatives.

3. How Big Tech Is Battling To Own The $49B Voice Market

  • Since Amazon first introduced Alexa in 2014, for example, smart speakers have grown dramatically year-over-year, with estimates that over 118 million homes have smart speakers.
  • The voice recognition space is expected to reach $49B, according to CB Insights’ industry analyst consensus.
  • There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year.

4. Japan’s Biggest Bank Launching Blockchain Payments Network in 2020

  • Japan’s largest financial group and the world’s fifth largest bank by assets – is launching a blockchain-based payments network next year
  • Called the Global Open Network, the system will be capable of processing over a million transactions per second…The firms are also looking to integrate internet of things (IoT) and Akamai’s cloud computing platform into the network.
  • Back in November, the firm participated in a pilot that put a syndicated loan for $150 million on the blockchain, along with Spanish banking giant BBVA and France’s BNP Paribas.

5. Smartwatch sales were up more than 60 percent in the US last year

  • The figure comes from The NPD Group, which also said that US smartwatch sales totaled nearly $5 billion, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.
  • Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit. Together, they made up 88 percent of smartwatch unit sales during the time the NPD was monitoring them (from November 2017 to November 2018)
  • The NPD found that US smartwatch ownership grew from 12 percent in 2017 to 16 percent in 2018, largely driven by younger buyers. The firm found that nearly a quarter of people between ages 18 to 34 now have a smartwatch.