This year’s been eventful for investors and founders alike. Just as it seemed the venture capital boom of 2021 was slowing down, the startup and VC worlds spun on their axes practically overnight, birthing a new dynamic where “growth at all costs” was quickly replaced by a more measured and careful approach to business and investing.
For 2023 then, it appears investors are focusing on trends that are relatively safer and likelier to bear fruit. Xfund’s vice president, Jadyn Bryden, and Lightship Capital’s principal, Alexis Alston, told TechCrunch that they are focused on generative artificial intelligence.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how AI can contribute to scaling previously human-led areas of business, such as sales, social media, marketing and content development,” Alston said.
According to Richard Kerby, a general partner at Equal Ventures, vertical software is a good subsector to watch. “What that looks like in practice is software that provides some sort of workflow improvement to a category that enables a company to monetize via a variety of financial services,” Kerby said. “Some of the sectors that we will be exploring include supply chain, logistics, insurance, construction and e-commerce enablement.”
When it comes to funding for under-represented founders, the investors mostly agreed that not much was likely to change. While Alston said she was concerned that the numbers were going to drop, Bryden believes that more venture dollars would go to Black founders as there are “increasingly more diverse investors each year.”
“It is a slow progression,” she said, noting that more diverse-led firms are popping up to support Black founders. “Having Black decision-makers at the table can be a great way to make sure that Black founders have representation across the board.”
Read the full survey here to find out what these investors expect in 2023, which laws and policies they’re keeping an eye on and the best way to pitch them.