The current investment in technologies, where are we headed and where we are not

My boss at work described 2013 as “the year that was a bit like 2002”. He was saying that he thinks 2013 is a year in which lots of investment in technology happened and in the next few years we will see some of these technologies rise while the majority fall flat on their face.

I’m too young to remember what happened in 2002, I don’t know if there were investments or not. I was too busy watching Hulk take on the Rock at Wreslemania 18. However, a quick look at data from PitchBook tells me my boss is right. At least from the point of view of venture capital stashes.

I’m not going to guess which will be successful or which won’t but these are some of the most interesting ones I came across:

 Virtual Reality

The Oculus Rift headset started out life as a kickstarter project. It made $2.4 million from early backers this way, which is a good indication that the end user actually wants the product. After a very positive response from the developers who got one of these early development kits they went after some venture capital. They got $75 from Andreesen Horowitz, the venture capital firm that put money up to fund startups such as Twitter.

The Oculus Rift is interesting because not only does it have a big investment from a venture capital fund, but its earliest adopters were the end users( who invested via kickstater). It also has a had a nod of approval from the biggest names in the industry with John Carmack even leaving Id to work for them.

Health Care  Technologies

Lots went on it health funding this year. The obvious big story here was in September we saw Opthotech raise $192 million to fund the third phase of a pilot for eye disease treatment. The G8 summit was also used to co-ordinate a research plan in to cures/treatments for dementia, with the UK doubling its annual research funding in to dementia by 2025.

New Currency

Coinbase got a $25 million investment. For those who don’t use the dark currency, coinbase is basically a wallet to hold your bitcoins. Because losing bit coins can be very costly . While I don’t think Bitcoin will become the future currency of Scotland or anything, I do think the black market is going to ride it for a while, and this may be a way for investors to basically invest in the black market..

Also: A decline in renewable energy funding. According to PitchBook again there was 62% decline in investment firms going for renewable energy in the u.s. Makes me kind of sad

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