In January last year, I made some predictions that in 2015 we’d see more emerging managers and increased co-investment activity between established investors and newer entrants, more cross-border activity, and sector focuses of health and wellness, financial services, and consumer products.
This year, I’ve decided not to do a predictions post for 2016 because I realize that predictions aren’t very useful unless we can collect data and evaluate how good our predictions were.
Instead I am going to write about the areas of impact investing that capturing my interest and attention now for the coming year:
- Blockchain – financial technology is also a hot topic, but I believe it is blockchain technology and distributed ledgers that is going to be interesting and potentially disruptive especially for intellectual property, creative property, and the movement of financial assets like equity interests.
- Revenue generation – with fears looming around a tech bubble (or unicorn slaughter) in the US, I believe venture investing will continue and capital will continue to flow, but investors will scrutinize more. Ventures that are revenue generating or can demonstrate a clear path to revenue and profitability will get first look – and that goes for impact ventures as well of course.
- Sharing economy – corporations are evolving into platforms and marketplaces. Without a thoughtful approach to sharing economy company culture and business practices, employees and certain consumers of services could draw the short straw. Like most things, the sharing economy is neither inherently an evil construct nor a magic bullet solution for a more democratized economy. But we need thoughtful, impactful approaches to the sharing economy, otherwise we’ll still end up with a bifurcation into owners and renters, people who earn income from capital versus income from labour.
What trends in impact investing have caught your eye? Or if you are the forecasting type, what predictions have you made for 2016? Share your comments below!
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