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Q&A: startups to watch in tech, finance, energy, health and pharma

In a year in which artificial intelligence (AI), fintech and the internet of things (IoT) have already driven considerable change across multiple sectors, attention has strongly focused on the startups maximising gains off the back of these technologies.

Ahead of GlobalData’s Industry Innovators: Startups to Watch Out For in 2024 webinar on 13 March, thematic analysts Saurabh Daga and Kiran Raj spoke to Verdict about the current startup landscape and most impactful technologies in tech, energy, pharma, healthcare and finance industries.

What are the most impactful themes for startups in the current venture landscape?

In 2024, AI and fintech are poised to remain the foremost impactful trends for startups. Despite regulatory worries regarding data protection and challenges like deepfake technology, the robust interest of venture capitalists in AI is expected to persist due to the increasing emergence of use cases for generative AI.

GlobalData projects that approximately 13% of potential unicorns will be AI-related. On the other hand, although fintech will continue to be a dominant theme, GlobalData forecasts a 31% decrease in the overall share of unicorns for fintech startups compared to the current unicorns.

How has the landscape changed for startups in the tech industry from last year to 2024?

Continued demand for AI/machine learning and automation technologies across various vertical sectors, is anticipated to lead to opportunities for startups specialising in AI-driven solutions.

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The emergence of new technologies such as quantum computing in convergence with advancements in supporting hardware and semiconductor systems, opens up new avenues for startups to disrupt traditional industries.

How about in pharma and healthcare?

Due to the accelerated digital health adoption, healthcare startups focusing on telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, digital therapeutics and health informatics will continue to gain traction.

Regulatory changes may create both challenges and opportunities for startups in terms of drug development, approvals and market access.

Increased focus on personalised medicine and precision healthcare may drive innovation in genomics, data analytics and AI-driven diagnostics.

In energy?

Energy transition towards renewable energy, driven by environmental concerns and regulatory changes, may create opportunities for startups in the renewable space providing solutions related to solar, geothermal and energy storage.

Increasing focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality could lead to innovation in clean energy solutions and energy efficiency technologies.

And how about the finance industry?

Continued disruption in the financial services industry driven by fintech startups, particularly in areas such as digital payments, peer-to-peer lending and blockchain-based financial services.

Will any technologies impact these industries more significantly than AI? If so, which technologies – and why?

Apart from AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to create major disruption across industries. IoT is now becoming a cornerstone of implementing sustainable operations in energy and power in combination with other advanced technologies such as AI and digital twins.

Moreover, the proliferation of wearables has led to IoT becoming a key component in remote monitoring within the healthcare sector. GlobalData estimates a significant 74% higher number of future unicorns in IoT compared to the existing unicorns.

Which startup looks poised to have the largest impact on the tech, pharma, healthcare, energy and finance sectors?

In the technology sector, Perplexity AI is emerging as a strong competitor to both OpenAI as well as Google in the AI search space.

Similarly, AmplifyBio is an up-and-coming biotech startup disrupting drug discovery and development with its end-to-end tech-enhanced services.

Likewise, in the energy sector, Koloma has registered an impressive presence through its technology that helps extract underground hydrogen also known as “Gold Hydrogen”.

In the finance sector, the buy-now-pay-later platform Addi. is rapidly gaining traction. Its unique ability to seamlessly integrate with both e-commerce sites and physical stores, coupled with cutting-edge AI and data analytics, enables Addi. to provide fast loan approvals.

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