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Sony Innovation Fund 2021 Predictions: Investing in The New Era of Hybrid Entertainment, The 3rd Wave of Fintech and The Foodtech Revolution

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Investing in The New Era of Hybrid Entertainment, The 3rd Wave of Fintech and The Foodtech Revolution

By Gen Tsuchikawa, Chief Investment Officer and CEO of Sony Innovation Fund

In 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way we live, work and interact with each other, fueling technology innovation. In this post, Gen Tsuchikawa, Chief Investment Officer and CEO of Sony Innovation Fund, discusses the trends he sees in store for the new year, from hybrid entertainment and the foodtech revolution to the growth of insurtech and sensors in the physical world.

Prediction #1: Investing in Hybrid Entertainment

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed human behavior on a global level. Technology solutions that may have taken 3-5 years to adapt into the mainstream are now being embraced by that same audience in 3-5 months. In 2021, we will continue to witness the prominence of hybrid entertainment experiences. We also anticipate that as we watch social changes continuing to take place across the entertainment stack, from creation to consumption, our interest will be shifting to the bleeding edge technology companies that make it all possible. We will continue to see rapid growth in the services and platforms supporting content creation. In addition, 5G will have a very positive effect on hybrid entertainment experiences - better uplink speed means more fulfilling fan engagement.

Prediction #2: The Third Wave of FinTech: It's all about trust

Fintech will continue to be about new service offerings and new technology, but more financial transactions will be moving to digital. The introduction of new service offerings will create a competitive landscape. AI, Identification, eKYC, and security will be important to all.

Prediction #3: The Growth of InsurTech

While there's clear overlap in areas like payments and processing, we see insurtech emerging as its own standalone category in 2021, thanks to momentum from innovative technologies, like AI and no code/low platforms, that harness workflows in a way never before possible. Insurtech also opens up a broader opportunity for non-insurance services and apps to bundle insurance offerings in their own environments.

Prediction #4: The FoodTech Revolution: How industry practices will shift in a post-COVID world

Foodtech, which has seen significant growth in delivery services, will continue to grow with changes in how food is produced - from meat to vegetables, and a growing awareness around regenerative agriculture.  

Prediction #5: Sensor Technology: Physical World as the next Untapped Datalake(s)

Sensors are capturing the real world and/or the physical world in many different ways, thanks to developments in technologies like edge AI and enhanced processing for machine vision. This opens up a new set of prediction and safety capabilities, notably in the automotive as well as industrial sectors. Because of this, a growing number of start-ups are harnessing those expanded sensing capabilities to enable real-time, automated decision making in those mission-critical environments.

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About the Author

Gen Tsuchikawa 

Gen Tsuchikawa is the Chief Investment Officer and CEO of Sony Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Sony Corporation dedicated to investing in and engaging with promising early-stage companies. Gen has spent 15 years at Sony. Prior to Sony, he spent 20 years in the finance industry in companies such as Merrill Lynch. He holds a BA from Hitotsubashi Uni in Japan, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Published Friday, January 22, 2021 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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