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RSS 2021 Predictions: COVID-19's impact on data, security and beyond

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

COVID-19's impact on data, security and beyond

By Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Partner at

This past year, our world was turned upside down as offices and schools closed their doors and people were forced to navigate remote work and living. Despite the many challenges the global pandemic has brought about, we have learned to adjust to our "new normal" throughout the past several months. As government officials and medical professionals fight to halt the spread of COVID-19, the way we work, travel, and socialize is forever changed. Below are some key trends we can expect to see in 2021 as industries, companies and people fully embrace the reality of virtual living and adjust to this shift. 

Investment strategies will become more globalized.

Due to the force-function of remote fundraising efforts, new regions will now have the chance to compete for venture funding. As a result, new hot markets will include Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Texas, Ohio, and Utah. These areas have previously been overlooked because of the traditions of raising capital (in-person networking, on-site pitches in Silicon Valley, etc) but in 2021, we will see VC firms looking beyond their own backyard for promising investment opportunities. 

Inflation of available data will lead to big wins for new sectors.

In light of continued social distancing, people are spending more time online which means there is increased consumer data available for companies to capitalize on. As we head into the new year, our society is producing enormous amounts of data about aspects of our life that were not previously measurable. We'll see big wins for sectors that thrive off of data and can take immediate action, such as insurtech and fintech. 

Companies will Increase security efforts. 

The shift to remote work has given cybersecurity a new meaning. As a result, personal data management is poised to become a new critical sector. We are multiple months into the global pandemic and companies are only now catching up to the security implications that come with full virtual working. As remote work continues, there's been a major trend of companies accelerating their security efforts. In addition, we will see a whole new wave of companies being created exclusively to secure these various aspects of our lives.

The surge in remote socializing will require cloud technologies. 

While the jury is still out about whether we are as productive online as we were in office, what is indisputable is that we have saved both time and money without lengthy commutes. Once the norm of work productivity gets re-established, we'll see an explosion in creativity as people use this new additional time for a variety of purposes. We've already seen this in pass-time activities such as fitness and gardening. In 2021, this trend will extrapolate to new social activities (think watch parties, cloud gaming, etc). As we continue to socialize behind screens, even hobbies will move into the cloud. 

2021 will provide a fresh start, but not without the ripple effect from the events of 2020. With the world looking for ways to embrace our new normal of virtual living - both for work and in our personal lives - venture capital is here to push innovation forward. 


About the Author

Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Partner at

Sailesh Ramakrishnan 

Sailesh is a partner at Prior to, Sailesh was CTO and co-founder of LocBox (acquired by Square), a startup focussed on marketing for local businesses. Sailesh previously worked at a startup known as Kosmix, and then Walmart as a Director of Engineering at Walmart Labs. Before jumping into the startup world, Sailesh worked as a Computer Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. Sailesh earned his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras, his Masters degree in Construction Management from Virginia Tech and another Master degree in Intelligent Systems from University of Pittsburgh. He was a Ph.D. candidate in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Michigan.

Published Friday, November 27, 2020 6:57 AM by David Marshall
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