Nearly 250 years ago, the economist and philosopher Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, in which he described the birth of a new form of human activity: industrial capitalism. It would lead to the accumulation of wealth beyond anything that he and his contemporaries could have imagined.
Capitalism has fuelled the industrial, technological and green revolutions, reshaped the natural world and transformed the role of the state in relation to society. It has lifted innumerable people out of poverty over the last two centuries, significantly increased standards of living, and resulted in innovations that have radically improved human well-being, as well as making it possible to go to the Moon and read this article on the internet.
However, the story is not universally positive. In recent years, capitalism’s shortcomings have become ever-more apparent. Prioritizing short-term profits for individuals has sometimes meant that the long-term well-being of society and the environment has lost out – especially as the world has faced the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. And as political unrest and polarisation around the world have shown, there are growing signs of discontent with the status quo. In one 2020 survey by the marketing and public relations firm Edelman, 57% of people worldwide said that “capitalism, as it exists today, does more harm than good in the world”
2019 finishes as second strongest VC investment year on record
As the 2010s came to a close, we can say with confidence that we experienced the greatest 10-year run in history for entrepreneurs raising venture capital. Between 2010 and the end of 2019, venture-backed startups raised more than $730 billion, almost doubling the $400 billion raised in the prior decade. What can the trends of the last year – and the last decade – tell us about what’s to come?
Let’s look at what drove the massive growth spurt in funding over the past decade:
An explosion in IT; software “eating the world”
The availability of mobile computing bringing goods and services to consumers anytime, anywhere
The technology enablement of industries — business and financial services boomed with the rise of FinTech
Continued advances in health care, health services, and biopharmaceuticals
The environment was also shaped by a prolonged zero interest rate environment that saw investors seeking yield and turning to venture to get it. In an era of abundant private capital, companies raised significant amounts and poured that into topline growth, in some cases not building infrastructure or positive unit economics. This is now being viewed with more scrutiny, especially in the consumer-facing markets.
Speechmatics, a London-based speech recognition technology engine, raised 6.35 million pounds ($8.25 million) in Series A funding. AlbionVC led the round, and was joined by investors including IQ Capital.
Acronis, a Singapore and Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based provider of cyber protection solutions, raised $147m in funding
Arceo.ai, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of an end-to-end cyber risk analytics and insurance platform, secured $37m in funding
CyberFortress, a San Antonio-based insurtech startup focused on protecting e-commerce companies from cyber threats, closed a $3m seed funding
Cowbell Cyber, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based startup focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered cyber insurance for small to mid-sized enterprises, secured $3.3M in seed funding
For expanded highlights and the full Capital Report by JD visit this URL: