I had a fun time this past Friday morning discussing the drivers of rising VC valuations and the outlook for ’15 with CNBC Anchors Carl Quintanilla, Kayla Tausche and Jon Fortt. Below is a link to the video clip. While I was able to mention that being in a rich environment for tech innovation, with the mega-trends of mobile and cloud helping drive the creation of new industries, has been a major contributor to the proliferation of highly valuable companies, time was too short for me to elaborate on where I see opportunity in ’15. Three areas I’d highlight:
- Sharing Economy – Obviously Uber and AirBnB have popularized this category. This is a global phenomenon and at GGV we’ve invested in companies like GrabTaxi in SE Asia and FlightCar in SF to pursue this trend.
- m-Commerce – There are now over 1 billion smart phones on the globe and users are expecting more and more from these devices. Shopping is becoming a core use case and I’d expect mobile commerce to catapult forward in ’15. At GGV, we’ve invested in companies such as Houzz, Square, Wish and Meilishuo in this area and believe that being in China and the US gives us an advantage in the increasingly global market for m-commerce.
- Security – While this isn’t a brand new category, the growth drivers are reaching a fevered pitch. You’ve heard of FOMO (fear of missing out) as a motivator to make acquisitions. Well, now there’s FOBS (fear of being “Sony’d”) as a motivator driving ever more scrutiny from CEOs and boards to layer in defenses against hackers, who are growing in sophistication and strength by the day. At GGV, we’ve invested in AlienVault and another company we’ll announce soon. Our pipeline remains rich as well.