“The largest companies of our time will utilize breakthrough technologies to solve systemic problems in a profitable and scalable way.”
Ev Williams, Founder, Obvious Ventures, Twitter & Medium
The world needs breakthrough innovations if our food systems are to feed and nourish 10 billion by 2050. We are excited by AI-enabled services for smallholders, sensor and blockchain solutions to eliminate food waste, and 3D-printed food customised to nutritional needs. Shifting capital to scale these technologies will help ensure a future without hunger or malnutrition.
The race of nations to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050 is on, driving a rapid decarbonisation of industries and the atmosphere. Accelerating this transition, disruptive innovations will radically change the way our energy is made, distributed and consumed. Technologies to watch out for include next-generation energy storage, algae-based biofuels and direct air capture for CO2. Good for economies and good for the planet.
Globally, about 1.7 billion people do not have access to a bank account, a basic necessity to escape poverty, and up to 3.5 billion have only limited access to financial services. Described by Forbes as ‘the next trillion dollar opportunity’, bringing mainstream financial services to the unbanked and underbanked is playing a major role in accelerating financial inclusion worldwide, with some of the greatest innovation seen in China and Africa. Far more investment is needed though to scale inclusive finance technologies and innovate alternative payment platforms and lending systems.
As cities across the globe rapidly expand, there is an increasing need for technologies to improve the lives of their residents and ensure greater resilience against climate change, water and resource scarcity and natural disasters. We’re excited to see investments in emerging solutions like carbon negative building materials, blockchain distributed energy grids and AI-powered disaster prediction.
The last few years have seen increased investments into technologies designed to disrupt and innovate our health and healthcare systems. Startups and investors are collaborating to prevent non-communicable diseases, scale precision medicine and increase access to affordable care for the underserved. Emerging technologies creating the healthier future we want include low-cost personalised medicines, emotion recognition for diagnosis and treatment and lab-grown synthetic organs.
Transformative change and rapid advancements in technology can bring us back within the limits of our planet’s boundaries. Promising startups leading this revolution are developing advanced waste to energy solutions, AI-driven recycling and bio-based chemicals. These innovators and their investors, with new business models and nature-based materials, are our catalysts for a regenerative and circular economy, where sharing, closed-loop systems and zero waste are the new normal.
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