Trends we track

While we’re always open to opportunistic investments, we take a thesis-driven approach to investing. We find concentrating on key verticals and industries makes us better partners to entrepreneurs, as we can apply our domain expertise and leverage our network of valuable contacts. Here are the areas and trends we’re currently tracking closely. Building something in or around one of these spaces? We’d love to hear from you.

The Defining Tech Platform for the Next 30 Years

Like the internet, cloud computing, and mobile, the newest wave of AI opens up expansive frontiers and disruption opportunities. While AI isn’t a novelty, recent model enhancements combined with advanced processing capabilities have unlocked a range of applications, from incremental to revolutionary. Developers and researchers continue to push the boundaries in areas such as computer vision, natural language processing, and robotics. And synthetic biology, chemistry, mathematics, and game theory are just a few compelling sectors that are leveraging the scale provided by ‘foundation models’ that can be fine tuned or specialized to more specific applications. In this AI landscape, a unique dataset, a strong customer base, and an effective market strategy stand out as essentials in a company’s ability to scale.

Refactoring the Enterprise

Structural inefficiencies and vertical fragmentation across all aspects of the financial system—lending, insurance, proptech—create a sub-optimal experience at best, and a detrimental debt cycle at worst, for consumers. Fee compression and shifts in passive investing trends have asset managers looking for differentiated and efficient ways to distribute investments.

In this landscape, every company is a fintech company. We’re closely tracking the continued evolution of the banking core, watching those taking advantage of slower incumbents to innovate and enabling companies to offer fintech functionality in-house from core banking to mortgage servicing and portfolio management—building differentiated proprietary datasets along the way. In particular, we’re interested in companies pursuing opportunities to automate the financial back-office, developing consumer-friendly insurtech experiences, and ensuring rapid-fire compliance, KYC & AML, powered by machine learning.

Driving Efficiency and Accountability and Getting to the Root Cause via Functional Medicine

We’re at an inflection point in healthcare—data silos are being broken, with an accelerated directive to modernize driven by COVID-19. Adoption of telemedicine has swiftly advanced and telehealth visits are surging. And while both doctors and patients largely see value in virtual encounters, a host of new needs arise. Patient-initiated diagnostics flip the physician/patient dynamic and present an opportunity to build new diagnostic workflows.

The unbundling of the traditional health care “stack” opens up the potential introduction of Services as API, outsourcing business-critical functions that are outside of healthcare providers’ core competencies. And troves of highly valuable data must be structured, standardized, and made secure and compliant.

We’re most excited about healthcare plays working within the existing healthcare system to help with the standardization of healthcare processes, healthcare data and ultimately reduce waste within the healthcare ecosystem to provide fundamentally better patient experiences and make it easier for our hard-working doctors and nurses to do their mission-critical jobs.

 The New Data Economy

Data is exploding—growing 10x every 5 years—but companies don’t have the platforms to manage it effectively. The volume of data will only grow at a compounding rate, and with it, the needs for sophisticated systems and architecture able to ingest, manage, secure, and transform that data at a higher scale.

A transformation is rapidly occurring as we move from the table stakes of business analytics to decision-enabling predictive analytics and intelligence applications. Data & model drift, monitoring, data infrastructure and product analytics are all compounding problems we’re tracking closely, as with how companies handle massive datasets and leverage machine learning. We believe businesses building for data quality and lineage and enabling more real-time decision-making will be especially relevant and impactful.

A Digital Transformation Being Driven by Open Architecture

The consumerization of enterprise software is continuing to transform the way people work. Across the application layer, human workflows are being accelerated with software that is increasingly intelligent, intuitive, and collaborative. At the same time, we’re seeing a proliferation of Vertical SaaS platforms extending automation and modernization into categories still dominated by manual processes.

This consumerization and transformation extends to the infrastructure layer as well. There is tremendous value in dev tools that can abstract away the complexity of software development. The proliferation of API infrastructure and open source solutions are creating a more modular, interconnected tech stack, and there is a huge opportunity to replace siloed platforms and walled gardens with open architecture.

In addition, the adoption of software within the enterprise is being rapidly democratized. As bottoms-up ‘land and expand’ models replace conventional top-down sales cycles, the velocity of digital transformation continues to accelerate.

Platforms That Make People and Businesses Thrive

We’ve been marketplace investors for several decades now across e-commerce, fintech, labor and logistics. While the marketplace model spans industries, one thing has remained the same—the best marketplaces equip the supply side of the marketplace with tools that help them thrive and make the user experience of transacting much simpler, in many cases because of their mobile focus.

In addition to more commonly known consumer marketplaces, we are closely watching B2B marketplace enablers, which can include a unique collection of SaaS tools to uniquely help their vertical of users enable high-frequency behavior. These next-gen marketplaces facilitate digital and physical transactions with unprecedented ease and scale and create entirely new business models.
*Includes partners’ investments made prior to joining Canvas