As we enter 2023, the past several years have seen significant investments in industries such as blockchain, DeFi, fintech, and e-commerce. Many of the valuations given to these companies were inflated, given a lack of underlying fundamentals and sustainable, scalable business models. Much of what fueled this growth is not unlike the dot-com era, where FOMO led the way over more in-depth research and analysis.
As VC firms switch gears to more fully scrutinize investments and pursuits, this increased transparency may create a more beneficial landscape for a diverse range of entrepreneurs, helping encourage opportunities for female-led companies, ethnically-diverse companies, and minority-led companies. Additionally, we could see an increased focus on emerging markets in developing regions of the world.
Conventional methods for evaluating worth may not be enough to discover truly transformational technologies. To find real innovation, VC firms must engage with specialists and sector experts to evaluate startups. Novel methods of evaluation, creative thinking in terms of where opportunities lie, and deploying highly specialized breakdowns could open new possibilities for utility-driven businesses. Clear road maps and specialization could be advantageous over former FOMO brands, which often lacked clear pathways to growth, user/societal benefit, and profitability. 2023 from a VC standpoint, is looking like an optimal period for companies with utility, real-world use cases, diversity, and specialization.