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Envestors Top 5 Market Trends of 2018


At ENVESTORS we receive over 100 proposals a month from entrepreneurs seeking equity finance.  In 2017, we saw a number of strong propositions from five key sectors.

1) Environment and transport:  As identified by NESTA in their report, they predict that “2018 will be the year we start to care about its impact on the planet” and we have certainly seen some exciting propositions in this sector.  We are delighted to see CHARGEMASTER, a company we invested in back in 2010 when it was a twinkle in the CEO’s eyes, has grown from strength to strength and is planning to float at £170m in 2018.

2) Artificial Intelligence (AI): It is generally believed the potential for AI is huge in a whole range of sectors from health to public services.  We are pleased to be working with BRITBOTS, the investor group specialising in AI and robotics, who have licensed our ENVESTRY™ white-label funding platform. Further information by NESTA.

3) Blockchain: Although blockchain is not a sector, per se, we are seeing a number of proposals using blockchain or distributed ledger to manage processes.  With the unbelievable growth of Bitcoin, we have seen a huge increase in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which use blockchain to raise funds. In October 2017 we organised a roundtable discussion with our legal partners CMS Nabarro to discuss and review the potential risks and returns of ICOs. Notwithstanding ICOs, companies embracing blockchain technology are of growing interest and it is good to see one of our investee companies, Billon, being identified as one of Five Blockchain Companies to Watch by. Further information by NESTA.

4) Data management and software.  With increased regulation such as MIFID II which came into force on 1st January 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being introduced on 28 May 2018, we are seeing a number of propositions focusing upon the management and distribution of data. We were delighted to announce the exit of Yocuda in the summer of 2017, a data management company acquired by OneMarket, a Westfield company making investors a return of 3.5 times.

5) Healthcare:  We have seen a significant interest in MedTech and healthcare propositions, particularly from our investor networks in China. AI in healthcare is already showing some impressive capabilities - reaching clinical levels of competence for some diagnostic tasks such skink cancer and diabetic retinopathy. As a result, the potential prize for AI companies is particularly big. The last few years have seen enormous investment in healthcare from Google, Apple, and venture capital funds, all aiming to be the leader in this area. Further information by NESTA.


This post was created on January 5 2018 by Juliet Brine