3VC predictions: what’s hot in 2022?

Published on Dec 21, 2021

Europe is on fire! Record volumes, more funds raised and more funds committing to Europe. Mostly in the UK, Germany, France, Nordics, Spain – but CEE is also slowly heating up, so we are glad that we have been early believers in the region. It's a great time to be a founder, and we expect a record volume of new companies being started.

Here are some other things we expect to see in 2022:


1/ Everything tokenized

In 2021 we saw the first adaptation of NFTs in the gaming and blockchain scene. They provide a unique opportunity to let digital assets acquire properties of physical assets, like scarcity or ownership. While there is a lot of hype around this concept and we will see a lot of failures, we also believe that in 2022 we will see further commercial use outside of gaming or collectibles. This could create opportunities to democratise ownership for end-consumers, prosumers and creatives. No matter if located in metaverses, existing digital platforms or even by linking to physical objects (digital twins), there is a lot of value to be generated and captured. Hence, we are bullish on developer tools, infrastructure and platform providers that will foster and enable rapid development, deployment, operation and maintenance of these new services. These are some exciting companies in this space @DappRadar, @AudiusProject, @Helium, @AnimocaBrands, @SoundXYZ, @RTFKT, @Single

2/ Collaboration 2.0: if Figma and Miro got married 

… and had a lot of babies! Say hello to an even more collaborative 2022 and greater feedback culture! Old-school silos are being disrupted, flattened and replaced by more productive, integrated, transparent and agile workflow successors for all departments: AllOps @tl;dv, DevOps @Fiberplane & @Archbee, LocOps @Lokalise, EventOps & CommunityOps @Talkbase, DesignOps @Collato, BackofficeOps @Passionfroot … you name it! The benefits of adopting such tools are tremendous as they are empowering both individuals and teams with true multiplayer capabilities, reducing knowledge churn among various departments, and are designed to be remote-friendly by default with an emphasis on async communication. Teams will be more productive and happy!

3/ Procrastinating that makes you smarter

If you’re like most people (and us?!), your smartphone is the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check before you sleep. With the addictive UX patterns, we often find ourselves scrolling endlessly through traditional platforms serving us information overload that is oftentimes irrelevant, and let's be frank, just a waste of our precious time and attention. Are you ever afraid that you'll become what you consume on your phone? Fortunately, there is a rising trend where new, decentralised interest-based platforms are coming up with a snackable format focused on quality content. The most awesome thing about it? You can pick how you want to be procrastinating while becoming smarter, mindful and healthier: turning downtime into uptime with 5-minute knowledge hacks - @Uptime, the knowledge exchange community - @Insightful or @Jodel, and brushing off your general knowledge with audio stories on the go - @Gaiali. Happy procrastination hacking! 

4/ HR tech revival: caring for your talent

Past years have been marked by a relatively small number of emerging global category leaders in the HR space. We think this will change and we will talk less about HR but more about People and Talent.

2022 is definitely an employee’s market - companies are under pressure to find and retain people and enable them to work from anywhere while not making compromises on legal setup, perks, collaboration, culture, or productivity. We expect companies to rethink their people processes and replace existing ones or adopt new solutions - be it for discovering and attracting talent, making asynchronous work, helping companies to scale culture or supporting people and their well-being. @Spill, @GoodMonday, @Mindgram, @WithJuno, @SafetyWing, @Symmetrical, @Oviavo

5/ New ways of financing

SPACs were hot in 2021, and in 2022, we expect to see new ways of financing being broadly adopted. In addition to revenue-based financing for B2B SaaS, which gained a lot of attention in 2021, we will see a similar offering for e-commerce businesses, consumer software and companies offering physical goods, as long as they can demonstrate a repeatable sales process. We also predict that many companies building for decentralisation of the internet will use SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) - basically a SAFE for tokens issued in the future! @Myos, @WeAreUncapped @Tatum

6/ IT systems will (have to) become more robust

The recent security issues related to Log4j have shown us (again) how vulnerable our IT systems are. The challenges not only arise when shielding certain components or networks, they are a consequence of the increased complexity of modern IT systems, fueled by the use of libraries, open source projects, APIs and microservices. We think that we currently see and experience only 1% of the problems, and the consequences will hunt us down in 2022. We will see a huge increase in security incidents and challenges.

We will see many companies emerging and growing that provide solutions to address the challenges on several layers. These companies will create and secure value worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Be it securing the source code (e.g. @Snyk, securing APIs and microservices @GraphCDN or providing new means to identify patterns and deviations in the flow of data (Darktrace, ExeonAnalytics, @Betterstack or execution of services (dynatrace) in complex IT systems. Processes and workflows will need to be automated and stabilized to keep pace with the growing threats @Trickest. We are very excited to partner up with companies contributing to robust and future-proof IT systems.

7/ Self-service data analytics for everyone

The modern data stack including Snowflake, RedShift, Fivetran, Segment, Looker and alike experienced a vast adoption among scaleups and modern companies. However, experts say that the “modern data stack” is viable for companies making at least 30-40M in revenue before they can afford to invest in the setup.  At the same time, we see a need also at smaller companies (i.e. Series A+) that are actively looking for solutions that enable them to streamline and leverage data created and gathered across teams, without investing millions. We believe that we will see no-code solutions that can be used by non-data scientists, empowering teams across organizations and creating notable new experiences! @Dataddo, @Databox, @IFTTT @Gyana @Obviously

8/ Christmas 2022 in the Metaverse?

In 2022 a whole new generation of wearables will be released that make the metaverse pleasantly tangible for the first time. Instead of wearing cumbersome VR headsets that are almost as big as helmets to fly virtually through space, or running around with your smartphone in front of your nose through parks to catch Pokemon, the world is going to see neatly designed glasses that allow seeing overlays on the real world. These overlays will feed us useful information or simply let us see the world the way we want to see it - just imagine always seeing a blue sky if you want to see a blue sky. While in 2021, people's reaction to the metaverse was "What is this?!", in 2022 it will be "OK, this is it!" The potential launch of Apple’s smart glasses is much anticipated, while Snap’s Spectacles are already giving us a tangible idea of where this space is heading. A fun European startup to check out is the Ukrainian @Party. Maybe Christmas gatherings will happen in the metaverse in 2022? 

9/ Software continues eating pills

2021 was the year when humanity realized that even one year after Covid, a lot of gaps and issues remain in the digital infrastructure powering our health system. Innovation has been accelerated and we will see first fruits and a more general acceptance of digital health models in 2022 and going forward. The US has been a few years ahead in adopting wearables, we expect that Europeans will also increasingly own and use wearables further enabling digital therapeutics. We will see a coexistence in the areas of diagnoses, continuous monitoring, and the pre- and aftercare. With a lot of critical health data moving into the cloud, privacy and security will become even more important going forward.  A technological solution for storing all patient data might be blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger for all patient data that prevents the data from being altered or hacked.

Germany has spearheaded digital health adoption with their DiGA (Digital Health Applications) and we hope and expect to see other European countries adopting a similar framework. ments be replaced by digitally enabled ones. Companies worth mentioning here include @Sympatient and @Mika.

10/ Putting climate right in the spotlight

While in 2021 a lot of companies popped up that offer some kind of green technology, 2022 will finally be the start of companies really making an impact by driving behavioral changes, capturing pollution, and gaining a competitive edge by producing less footprint (instead of paying money for an ever-growing CO2 footprint). The supply chain shocks of 2021 create new chances for making global supply chains greener and more sustainable. We all know that there has to be a real change in society to reach the climate goals, and more and more data is available to make sure humanity starts to act. Unfortunately, the pandemic has taken a lot of focus away from the climate crisis, but in 2022 the climate crisis will get back into the spotlight. We will have the first zero-waste companies that will become household names as companies like https://www.pieter-pot.nl are raising their early rounds and will be growing. Other companies worth mentioning include @Connect, @Minimum, @Vaayu, @Resourciful, and @Tanso.

Curious if our predictions will hold true?
Check out our 2021 predictions and see how we did there!

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