Who will be the next Apple: 10 startups, which you should look in 2018
Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), artificial intelligence technology, blockchain industry, biotechnology and autonomous car - the areas where work the most interesting projects in 2018.
The volume of venture capital investments in startups in 2017 reached a new record -. $ 148 billion four dozen startups for the first time entered the "club of the unicorns" - were rated higher than $ 1 billion The number of venture capital transactions decreased, and therefore, hedge funds have become more selective refers to investments. Some businesses prefer to run without any venture, and try their luck in one of the main trends in 2017 - ICO.
Less than the IPO, more bright start-up stories from Europe and China, more stringent requirements for assessing the reasonableness of the company - the main predictions for 2018 year in venture capital market. The following selected a dozen startups with venture capital, behind which is worth to watch.
Xiaomi, developer of mobile devices and software
Chinese Apple - manufacturer of devices from Beijing received that nickname back in 2014, mainly due to very similar to the iPhone smartphone and the sharp buzz around the device. In the same year, Xiaomi drew his last venture round - at $ 1.1 billion, which was featured DST Global.
Now the dust has settled a bit around Xiaomi: the company occupies 14% of the domestic market, behind Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. But Xiaomi ambitious plans for 2018 once again attracted the attention of investors.
According to Business Insider, the company began the selection banks for arranging of IPO, the results of which can get an estimate of $ 100 billion in July Xiaomi capitalization was estimated at 45 billion -. Between the last two rounds, it grew by 200%. IPO success can contribute to financial performance - according to Reuters, Xiaomi's revenue for 2017 may be 18% higher than the forecast, net profit - exceed $ 1 billion, and by the end of this year - double.
Another contender for the IPO, biotech company 23andme estimated in September to $ 1.5 billion startup founded by Anne Vozhitski (Ex-wife of Sergey Brin). Company now has two sources of income.
Firstly, the company has sold more than 2 million DNA test for the detection of predisposition to disease. Secondly, the collected test data 23andme sells research institutes. It will be interesting to see whether the company can develop the third line of monetization - developing its own medicine.
Safinus, exchange for novice and experienced investors
The platform will enable an experienced investors and crypto funds to create their portfolios of cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which in a few clicks will join novice investors. The platform will be output rating of portfolios and provide transparent reporting on each of them.
Crypto funds and experienced investors and traders will be able repeatedly to increase the volume of managed funds through a unique mechanism of joining newcomers to the investment portfolio.
By attracting private investors and beginners, who have not had previous opportunities to fully invest in the crypto industry, it is expected that Safinus platform will be one of the main channels through which will flow investment in ICO projects.
Magic Leap, AR and VR developer solutions
The company Magic Leap, whose secret development for three years did not prevent to catch Google and Alibaba in the number of investors, has also attracted the largest investment round of the fourth quarter 2017 - $ 500 million, but the main thing that startup has finally revealed in December, a prototype system of augmented reality.
Although about IPO of the company with an estimate of $ 6 billion, is still too early to say, the most interesting thing is expected in this year, when will commence delivery of the product Magic Leap One.
Developer of blockbuster AR-game Pokemon Go risked to remain by a single application. However, two years later Niantic want to repeat the success - in November, the company raised $ 200 million investment and plans to launch the game Wizards Unite based on the Harry Potter.
Do not cease rumors about ICO Telegram. According to TechCrunch, the sale of tokens of Gram Project Telegram Open Network (TON) is focused on the collection cryptocurrency amount equivalent to $ 1.2 billion - it will be a record for crypto industry, more than 4 times higher than the current leader FileCoin, who collected $ 257 million.
Based on the White Paper, Durov wants to create its own blockchain platform, competitor Bitcoin and Ethereum. With a high-bandwidth now some transactions take weeks, whereas TON promises speed comparable with payments with Visa or Mastercard. Perhaps the most important is the fact that already in the first quarter of 2018 messenger may overstep the mark of 200 million active users, which will create a critical mass for scaling cryptocurrency and building new infrastructure on it.
Transferwise, international money transfer service
Venture investors are not the first year look beyond Silicon Valley. And fintech segment alive thanks not for only cryptocurrencies. Service Transferwise from London - the center of the global financial industry - has challenged the main institutions of the industry: the banks. The company with an estimate of $ 1.6 billion works on reduction of tariffs for international currency transfers. Among investors - Richard Branson and Peter Thiel. Transferwise attracted a new round of $ 280 million at the beginning of November.
Why do you need to look on Transferwise right now? Transferwise have new competitors in the face of crypto wallets, and therefore, there was an additional incentive for product innovation. On last week Transferwise launched a new product - the international account with a debit card or Mastercard, support for up to 28 currencies and conversion rate that users can see in Google.
DocuSign, digital documents verification service
DocuSign, digital contracts platform, also plans to hold an IPO in 2018. The company recently attracted venture capital investments. Even in 2015 when company was measured in US $ 3 billion, has already reached the level of profitable and now, according to analysts, it is ready to either a public offering or a sale.
From the point of view of the product it is also interesting how the DocuSign will compete with smart contracts in blockchain and what will be the strategy of the company in 2018 with the new CEO Dan Springer.
Bytedance, AI media service
While Chinese manufacturers of devices have already won the international market, internet services (with the exception, perhaps, Aliexpress) has not yet mastered by users outside China. More interesting, when the Chinese startup has ambitious plans to enter the world, and in particular on the American market.
Company Bytedance, using artificial intelligence technology for the personalization of content, is well known in the domestic market of China. It is estimated at more than $ 20 billion and has a news aggregator Toutiao with 120 million users a day. In addition, Bytedance recently acquired mobile video service Musical.ly, which is already popular in the US, and French rival news aggregator News Republic.
From a business perspective, it is worth to look on international expansion Bytedance, but in terms of the product - in the AI development: the company has topped the list of 100 startups, leading AI-industry according to the CBI Insights, in terms of investment.
WayRay, developer of augmented reality technology for vehicles
Against the background of "unicorns" technology market a Swiss start-up with Russian roots WayRay looks modest. Today the company, which is developing AR-device and software for vehicles, has raised $ 30 million from investors including Alibaba Jack Ma's company, and is planning another round of $ 50 million.
In November WayRay won the Grand Prix Automobility LA competition for startups that are developing technology for cars. At CES-2018 the company after four years of development has shown the holographic AR-navigator prototype Navion and infotainment system with augmented reality for cars. If WayRay implements plans to release their first device - Navion - on the market, this year could be a turning point for the company.