This year has been an eventful year for both investors and founders. Just as it seemed as though the 2021 venture capital boom was waning, the startup and venture capital worlds spun on their axis practically overnight, creating a new dynamic in which “growth at all costs” was quickly replaced by a more measured and careful approach to business and investing.
For 2023, it seems that investors are focusing on trends that are relatively safer and likely to pay off. Xfund vice president Jadyn Bryden and Lightship Capital chief executive Alexis Alston told ExamPaper that they are focused on generative artificial intelligence.
“I look forward to seeing how AI can help scale formerly human-led business areas such as sales, social media, marketing and content development,” said Alston.
According to Richard Kerby, general partner at Equal Ventures, vertical software is a good subsector to watch. “What that looks like in practice is software that provides a kind of workflow enhancement to a category that allows a company to make money through a variety of financial services,” Kerby said. “Some of the industries we will be exploring are supply chain, logistics, insurance, construction and e-commerce enablement.”
When it comes to funding for underrepresented founders, investors mostly agreed that not much would likely change. While Alston said she feared the numbers would fall, Bryden believes more venture dollars would go to Black founders as there are “more diverse investors every year.”
“It’s slow progress,” she said, noting that more and more diversely run companies are popping up to support black founders. “Having black decision makers at the table can be a great way to ensure that black founders are represented across the board.”
Read the full survey here to find out what these investors expect in 2023, what laws and policies they’re watching, and the best way to pitch them.