At the start of 2020, we were optimistic that we would see a new wave of startups and emerging technologies that would solve problems for consumers and enterprises. Little did we know that a global pandemic would turn the world upside down, disrupting many industries while accelerating others. Despite a curveball of a year, the founders in our portfolio and beyond showed their resilience and adaptability to overcome all the challenges that came their way. We were fortunate enough to have made 76 new and follow-on investments in a wide range of incredible companies across consumer, enterprise, and healthcare sectors. Additionally, several portfolio companies experienced major liquidity including Opendoor (NASDAQ: OPEN) BlueJeans (acquired by Verizon), CyberX (acquired by Microsoft), Health Catalyst (NASDAQ: HCAT), and Shape Security (acquired by F5 Networks).
While 2020 tested us and our founders, we believe we’ve come out stronger and remain optimistic for what’s ahead in 2021. We look forward to another year of growth, partnership, and community as we together face new opportunities in our new normal.
Staying true to our annual tradition, we asked a few of our investors for their predictions for the coming year. Here’s what they said:
Sonya Brown, General Partner
“2020 was the year of ‘at-home beauty’ as consumers were forced to find alternative solutions to their hair color, skincare, and nail care needs due to salon and spa closures. In 2021, we’ll continue to see consumers continue their at-home beauty routines while also investing in new products such as skincare devices as well as virtual services led by professional hair colorists or aestheticians.”
Lisa Wu, Partner
“Cash will continue to flow to digital health companies as the rise of consumerism in healthcare, COVID-19, technology, and other accelerants transform the industry. We are still in the early innings with few widely recognized consumer health brands creating a window for outsized returns for those that become the market leaders in both the direct-to-consumer and B2B channels.”
Rob Arditi, General Partner
“For high growth SaaS business, 2021 will likely usher in heightened sensitivity to unit economics and operating efficiency. The market will continue to pay a premium for growth but become less sympathetic to cash flow profiles that require investors to peer too far into the future to see a positive ROI.”
Priti Youssef Choksi, Partner
“Live virtual entertainment will become a mainstay in a post-COVID world — whether it’s concerts, sports games, or other live events. Creators will not only reach in-person fans but also engage with worldwide audiences simultaneously through video game-like streaming shows as well as immersive virtual reality experiences. These ‘lean in’ experiences will have built-in social features such as chat and co-watching with friends. Entertainment will seamlessly blend with e-commerce for ‘in-game’ purchases of real and virtual goods and actions, unlocking new revenue streams for producers and creators. While I am excited to get back to in-person events, I am even more bullish about the unlock potential of the virtual entertainment ecosystem.”
Rama Sekhar, Partner
“WFH (Work From Home) and the ‘flexible workweek’ will become a permanent part of our lives and the IT and infosec implications will be huge. Your home network is now the business network. Enterprises will look to innovative companies that can solve the resulting security challenges such as safely securing access and authorization to corporate data. Remote workers yearning to be productive from home will buy a slew of productivity and digital collaboration tools creating a new category of ‘SaaS Ops’ companies to help CIOs and CFOs manage their sprawling SaaS portfolio.”