2022 is a fresh start for everyone. Through two years of COVID-19, entire industries have been forced to pivot or risk going under entirely, with some doing so successfully, and others dropping off the map entirely.
With many businesses transitioning almost entirely to virtual work, and many services and products being offered and sold almost exclusively online, the image of “successful” business has transformed dramatically.
As Marc Benioff, founder, chair and CEO of Salesforce said:
“I’ve been on more sales calls with more CEOs in the last two months than at any time in my career, and there’s universal agreement among them: Digital transformation, while this isn’t a one app [solution], it’s a must-have. Organizations and governments around the world have a digital transformation imperative like never before, and many of them are accelerating their plans for a digital-first work-from-anywhere environment.”
The following are some of the top industries for new businesses to thrive and that legacy businesses have been moving towards in this new digital age.
With the world’s untimely introduction to COVID in 2019, the medical industry has been inundated with a need for new, viable solutions for everything from standard patient care to dynamic response technology for emerging outbreaks.
After recently raising over $300 million, Cerebral is an online mental health service provider now valued at over $4 billion. Cerebral is just one example of the many mental health services taking their expertise online, as in-person visits become riskier and digital solutions become more competent and widely available.
Workit Health, an online substance abuse treatment platform recently raised $118 million in order to expand internationally. According to Workit, almost 84% of its users stay in the program for over one month, compared to the 33% national average, showing not only a successful pivot to online substance abuse treatment, but a significant increase in treatment quality via the platform.
Capsule, a mobile application that allows free, same-day medication delivery to your home, also recently announced a $300 million raise that will catapult them into the realm of complete medical service providers, from telehealth to pharmaceuticals, marking a definitive transition away from, and potential end to traditional in-person pharmaceuticals and medical services.
As augmented and virtual reality technology improves and becomes more affordable and accessible, new, innovative startups are creating technology that will help shape, expand, and formalize the metaverse. With an estimated 1.07 billion users of AR in 2022 alone, and a predicted increase to 1.7 billion by 2024 (Statista), this is the biggest, least saturated environment for real digital innovation.
Despite the backlash, criticism, and joking online, Facebook’s switch to Meta should be a testament to the relevance of the metaverse today. Whether it be a social platform for virtual connection, or an online marketplace for shopping from the comfort of your couch, this is by far one of the biggest pivots we’ve all heard about, but may have discounted.
Immersal by Hexagon
Immersal is an AR platform that was recently acquired by Hexagon, a Swedish AR/VR enterprise, that allows businesses to map any space in the virtual world and allow users to explore that space in AR. With a supported AR device, users walk through the physical space while seeing unique features of the space in augmented reality. The recent acquisition of this business, alongside many others in the space, should be an indicator of the true value of unique AR solutions.
Holoride is a unique VR startup that aims to transform everyday car rides into an experience akin to a theme park. By mapping the navigational data of a trip, and using that to create a unique digital experience, users can take a digital amusement park ride on their journey in the physical world, with almost no latency between what that user sees, and the ride that they are actually in. With a recent $10 million raise, this company is one to watch, as virtual reality entertainment is on par with other VR/AR businesses in terms of technology, and often surpasses traditional industries in terms of engagement.
As the world of finance evolves to integrate cryptocurrency, fully virtual banking, and more, the long standing financial institutions of the past have begun acquiring and building their own De-Fi platforms and services, in an effort to meet both the growing demand for, and explosion of businesses providing De-Fi solutions to the masses.
With a recent $8.2 million raise, Zerion is aiming to be the one stop shop for building and managing your De-Fi portfolio. As the sheer number of cryptocurrencies, NFT marketplaces, and De-Fi products/services grows rapidly, expect management platforms to dominate the space, with Zerion leading the way.
Chainalysis is taking a different approach to blockchain than other businesses, primarily by acknowledging its drawbacks. This platform is built around the idea that crypto is relatively new, and many potential users lack the knowledge and expertise required to trust a blockchain platform. Through analysis of crypto, layman explanations of the technology, and custom software services to blockchain providers, Chainalysis is leading the way to a blockchain-friendly future.
Similar to Chainalysis, Spring Labs is taking the unique approach of attempting to secure blockchain products for the end user, in order to promote the blockchain as a whole to the worldwide economy. While anonymity and freedom are some of the most desirable features of a blockchain product, they also serve as powerful tools for wrongdoers in the industry, who use those characteristics maliciously at the expense of its users. SpringLabs aims to implement their existing, non-De-Fi solutions, into the blockchain, promoting security, accountability, and trust throughout the industry.
As many of the world’s largest businesses transition to online employment, the technology and services that facilitate it have seen massive growth. Services that were once considered taboo in certain industries, or useless on a large scale have become mainstays in the global economy. These connected environments are not only shaping the future of work in our lifetimes, but also the methodology by which we communicate, socialize, and communicate in an increasingly connected world.
Perhaps the most recognizable digital communication platform of today, Slack has, even pre-pandemic, revolutionized the way teams communicate and the effectiveness of that communication. With an open platform that integrates to virtually any system imaginable, and a user interface that both promotes work culture and incentives meaningful work, Slack is the industry leader, and primary indicator of an industry that will dominate the market in the years to come.
Figma is a UI/UX design platform that facilitates UI/UX design and general product brainstorming through a live, web-based platform. With its real-time collaboration features and vast improvements on technologies used previously in the industry, Figma is a mainstay everywhere, from the Facebooks of the world, to the freelance entrepreneur. To date, they have raised over $333 million and are on track to be the number on UI/UX collaboration tool for the years to come.
Aduro Life is a virtual work platform that provides custom end-to-end solutions for employers who are looking to do more for their workforce. Aduro provides a holistic solution to the problems of today, disengagement, disinterest, unhealthy habits, and unproductivity. With their most recent $22 million investment, they are leading the way to holistic solutions for a hybrid work environment.
Despite the tumultuous world that has emerged post-pandemic, the startup industry, specifically with regards to technology, has pivoted and thrived to support the needs of an ever-changing demographic. While we understand that change is inevitable, you should expect all of these industries, and the leading startups within to continue growing throughout 2022 and into the foreseeable future.