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2014 - the year of fintech, robotics, education, mobile and IoT

0 8 January 2014

At the end of 2013 asked seven partners of major Russian funds what 3 main trends they were expecting to see in 2014. Here’s what they had to say.

Aleksey Solovev - Managing Partner at Prostor Capital  

1: Personalization of online information in all its forms: As more and more personal information is gathered, online advertising (namely CPA and RTB) will become more targeted and more effective.

2: Online finance: The annual demand for microloans in Russia is estimated at around $10 billion, and online microfinance companies offer consumers speed and convenience. Cryptocurrency (like Bitcoins) is another sector to watch out for.

3: Internet of things (IoT): Experts think that by 2015 as many as 25 billion devices could be integrated into the global IoT ecosystem. This will allow personalized data to be gathered about users that can make their lives easier and more comfortable.

Dmitry Chikhachev - Co-founder and managing partner at Runa Capital

1: Small businesses will increasingly use MSP (managed service providers) to outsource management responsibilities. 

2: Big business will go mobile - smartphones and tablets will complete their transformation into indispensable devices in the workplace. BYOD will become standard practice.

3: Big growth in the online education and fintech sectors.

Maksim Shekhovtsov - Managing Partner at Genezis Capital

1: Fintech: Successful IPOs this year for Qiwi and TCS have turned investors’ attention back to the fintech. Mobile technology and the net will fundamentally change the banking sector. 

2: Robotics: There still aren’t many truly successful robotics companies, but it’s clearly that the sector has massive potential. Robots haven’t been perfected yet, but very soon, by which I mean the next 5-10 years, I’m expecting a boom.

3: Alternative energy and energy-conserving tech: At the moment neither solar or wind power can compete with fossil fuels, which are cheaper and more straightforward. Nuclear energy is effective, but well known limitations mean that it is not a viable option for mass energy production. At the same time, the global economy really needs cheap forms of energy and continues to demand alternative sources. 

Artem Inyutin - Investment Director at TMT Investments

1: Android to conquer the mobile sector.

2: The cloud to play a bigger and bigger role in business (growth of the cloud b2b market).

3: Increased competition between different messenger services.

Sergey Toporov - Fund Manager at LETA Capital

1: Robotics: the sector is riding a wave of popularity and a window of opportunity is open. The problems holding the sector back at the moment are more intellectual than financial. 

2: Increased proliferation of smart-devices: as people work out how to use them more effectively and their capacity to communicate among themselves is increased investors need to identify the right moment to hop onto the wave.

3: The increase in the quantity of unstructured data is a niche waiting to be filled by some very interesting and absolutely unpredictable products. 

Gleb Davidyuk - Managing Partner at iTech Capital

1: The consolidation of online and offline businesses in different sectors (iTech Capital is doing this in the ticketing sector).

2: Russian funds will increasingly turn their attention to Western projects, as the quantity of quality projects in Russia is very limited.

3: The total number of investments is likely to fall, as a result of the number of unsuccessful deals struck in 2011-2013 and as the majority of funds start move into the exit phase of the investment cycle. 

Anna Nenakhova - Investment Director at VEB Innovations

  • regarding projects

              1: IT - Big data, Internet of Things, mobile-dependent technology

              2: Space and everything connected with commercial space tourism.

              3: Energy: solutions that change the way we consume energy                                  resources. 

  • Regarding the innovation economy:

               1: Increased demand for products offered by venture-financed companies.

               2: Increased interest from big corporations in venture-financed companies. 

Top image via Shutterstock 

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