9 Must-Know Venture Capital Trends for Founders in 2024

Join us as we explore the key trends defining the venture capital industry in today's rapidly changing world, providing insights for investors, entrepreneurs, and industry observers alike.

Mudassir Mustafa
March 26, 2024

Over the last few years, venture capital (VC) has proven to be a viable option for entrepreneurs seeking funding opportunities.

Having said that, with changing dynamics in the startup ecosystem, there has been a noted shift in VC trends as well. One thing, however, continues to remain constant – the rise in the popularity of venture capital among various funding strategies. Statistics reveal that the total capital raised is forecasted to touch the figure of US$468.4 billion in 2024.

The Changing Landscape of VC Investment

In today’s time and age, venture capital has become more than merely financial backing for businesses. You can consider it a vote of confidence getting a venture capitalist on board with your idea is akin to getting your idea validated by experts.

However, over the last few years, the criteria and preferences of VCs have seen a shift, influenced by global economic conditions, changing consumer behaviors, and technological advancements. 2024, in particular, witnessed the emergence of many key VC trends, reflecting the broader shifts in society and the economy.

So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the latest venture capital trends founders must know about:

1. Increased Focus on Sustainability

Needless to say, sustainability has transitioned from a nice-to-have to a core investment focus. This has resulted in VCs being drawn to startups that address environmental challenges, promote sustainable practices, or offer green technologies. This shift is partly driven by consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services, regulatory pressures, and the growing recognition of the financial risks associated with climate change.

Having said that, it is important to note that sustainable startups are not just limited to clean energy; they span various sectors, including sustainable agriculture, waste management, and eco-friendly consumer goods.

Real-life Examples

Loam Bio (previously Soil Carbon Co.): Develops technology for crops to capture carbon from the air and reintroduce it into the soil, also enabling farmers to trade carbon offsets.

Carbo Culture: Focuses on capturing carbon dioxide and reducing carbon footprint through a patented process that produces biochar for renewable energy uses.

2. Rise of AI and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) continue to remain at the forefront of VC investment trends as they propel a wide array of innovations across industries.

From healthcare diagnostics to autonomous vehicles, AI and ML are enabling startups to solve complex problems and offer groundbreaking services.

VCs are particularly drawn to startups that leverage AI and ML to create competitive advantages and disrupt traditional industries. The scalability and potential for exponential growth in AI-driven startups make them highly appealing to investors.

Shedding light on statistics, the sector comprised 30% of all VC deals in the fourth quarter of 2023. It was mainly driven by two large AI deals valuing over $1 billion.

3. Remote Work Startups

The global pandemic 2020 brought along a lot of changes to our lifestyles. Among the most notable was a significant shift in remote working.

This global shift towards working remotely has elevated the demand for solutions that facilitate effective collaboration, productivity, and security outside traditional office environments. Resultantly, startups that offer innovative remote work technologies, such as virtual collaboration tools, project management software, and cybersecurity solutions for remote teams, have seen a surge in VC interest.

This trend is likely to persist as companies adopt more flexible work policies post-pandemic.

4. HealthTech Boom

The healthcare sector has witnessed rapid transformation in recent years. It is particularly driven by technological advancements and the urgent need for more efficient and accessible healthcare solutions.

HealthTech startups, particularly those focusing on telehealth, personalized medicine, and digital health platforms, are receiving significant attention from VCs.

The global health crisis underscored the importance of innovation in healthcare, and investors are keen on backing startups that can contribute to a more resilient and efficient healthcare system.

As per statistics, health and life science received 28% of total VC funding in Q4, 2023, the second highest after IT.

5. Blockchain and Crypto

Even though cryptocurrency is considered a volatile market, blockchain technology still remains a hotbed for VC investment. According to the latest VC trends, investors are keen to fund startups that leverage blockchain for applications besides crypto. These include supply chain management, decentralized finance (DeFI), and digital identity.

Simply put, the potential for blockchain to disrupt traditional business models and create new opportunities for value exchange has kept investor interest alive.

To illustrate further, we can take the example of venture capital firms like Artesian that invest in a range of technologies including crypto and blockchain, highlighting the ongoing interest in funding innovations within this space.

6. Regulatory Tech (RegTech)

Next up among VC investment trends gaining traction among investors is Regulatory Tech. As regulations across industries become more complex and enforcement stricter, the demand for RegTech solutions has skyrocketed.

VC firms and investors have shown keen interest in startups that offer innovative technologies to help businesses comply with regulatory requirements efficiently. This trend reflects the broader move towards digitization and automation of compliance processes, which can significantly reduce costs and mitigate risks for businesses.

7. Cybersecurity Innovations

Despite deploying sophisticated technology, cyberattacks still remain prevalent. As a matter of fact, their frequency has increased, posing threats to businesses of all sizes and scales. This is why, startups that develop cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions are highly sought-after by VCs.

You can take the example of blockchain-based and AI-driven threat detection and security protocols in this regard. The critical nature of cybersecurity in protecting digital assets and maintaining trust in digital transactions ensures continued investor interest in this sector.

Startups in cybersecurity can find potential backers in firms such as Soma Capital. It is a renowned company that has a history of investing in a broad range of tech startups, including those focused on cybersecurity and related technologies

8. E-Sports and Gaming

Among the top VC trends, the e-sports and gaming industry has experienced explosive growth. This massive growth is driven by the increasing popularity of competitive gaming and digital entertainment. The entertainment value and engagement levels associated with e-sports and gaming offer lucrative opportunities for growth and monetization.

Recent records show that startups that operate within this ecosystem, including game developers, streaming platforms, and e-sports tournament organizers, are attracting significant VC investments.

Box Group, an investment fund company, is an example of a VC firm that has invested in consumer, enterprise, fintech, and healthcare, and includes gaming among its interests.

9. EdTech Evolution

The education sector's transformation through technology has accelerated, with EdTech startups playing a pivotal role in making learning more accessible, personalized, and engaging.

VCs are investing in startups that leverage technology to address educational challenges, from K-12 to higher education and lifelong learning. The global push towards improving education quality and accessibility ensures a continued interest in EdTech innovations.

Educational startups can draw interest from venture capital firms like BDC Venture Capital, which invests across multiple sectors, including education.

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