Digital Venture Opportunities for 2020 — Which digital solution would most benefit your company?

Lauren Macpherson
Jan 3 · 7 min read

Looking back over the last decade in business there is a clear trend…for new trends. From Adtech to Martech and Fintech, with technology constantly evolving at a rapid pace, new terms were needed to name and categorise them all. This is particularly true for digital products which are often grouped together using the -tech suffix.

So, as the digital product experts, we have put together a list of the most relevant ones to help you keep up with what is happening within digital innovation - and how companies benefit from applying disruptive ideas and leveraging new digital technologies.

Cleantech = Clean + Technology

Sometimes also called Greentech, these digital products focus on sustainability and aim to minimise the environmental impact of companies.

Helping to make deliveries more sustainable, Berlin-based company Fliit is a digital food logistics platform that connects food companies with specialised carriers within a network — making the process shared and therefore less wasteful.

Fortune Global 500 firms spend around $20 billion per year on Corporate Social Responsibility projects, many of which fall within the Cleantech bracket.

Edtech = Education + Technology

A busy market, Edtech uses a variety of channels. The five key sectors of the e-learning industry are consulting, content, technologies, services and support. From mobile applications to online courses and advanced interactive learning with help from virtual and augmented reality among others. Helping to facilitate education on a variety of devices in almost any location, for any person or any purpose.

A great example of this is Feedback Fruits, a plug-in for the university Learning Management Platform ‘Canvas’. Tutors can use it to add interactive moments to videos, and documents, including PDF, Word files and YouTube videos — increasing the participation of all students by creating individual learning paths for their course.

Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projected Edtech (or “E-Learning”) would reach $107 billion in 2015 and it did. Now, Research and Markets forecasts show triple the revenue of 2015, meaning E-learning will grow to $325 billion by 2025.

Fintech = Finance + Technology

Transforming finance and banking by making these services digital. Data and machine learning can be used to make better, faster and personalised decisions for your business and your customers. Technologies like blockchain can be used to develop a reliable chain of custody. We also include Wealthtech in this category. Slightly different from Fintech, these products currently focus on advisory services driven by machine learning algorithms, micro-investment services and portfolio management tools.

ETFMatic is the most downloaded Robo-Advisor app in Europe. Making investments easier, the app combines index-based investment strategy data and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to construct and manage unique investment portfolios tailored to personal preferences and circumstances.

New data from Juniper Research has found that Fintech platform revenues will reach $638 billion by 2024, up from an estimated $263 billion in 2019; driven by increasing consumer acceptance of Fintech-powered solutions. Accenture’s 2019 Global Payments Survey reveals that 60% of the banks that participated in their survey believed they will lose up to 15% of payments revenue — $88 billion — in the next three years after being displaced by emerging, competing financial services players.

Foodtech = Food + Technology

In Foodtech, data gathered from your food-app usage can be run through algorithms to build recommender systems that will help you decide what to eat, recipes you might like or calories contained within your meal.

SmartCuisine is a Dutch recipe app for professional kitchens. Helping chefs to prepare dishes that are both high-quality and cost-effective, to make them more productive and efficient and leave space for creativity.

There is no bigger industry than food, with a consistent, loyal customer base of 7 billion. The World Bank estimates that food comprises about 10% of global GDP, so we can roughly value it at $8 trillion. In 2018, 9.7% of Americans’ disposable personal income was spent on food — 5% at home and 4.7% away from home — a percentage that has remained steady amidst economic changes over the past 20 years.

Healthtech = Health + Technology

We group this with Biotech. Work is being done with medical data to improve diagnoses, blockchain technology to advance the sharing of patient data, and optimising patient care with sensors, remote appointments and the gamification of rehabilitation techniques.

Progyny, a digital health and fertility company made $156 million in 2018 alone. In 2016 the company launched an app designed to deliver a comprehensive “shopping” experience for consumers seeking fertility services like in vitro fertilization, egg freezing and doctor consultation.

Insurtech = Insurance + Technology

Insurtech focuses on utilising the Internet of Things sensors to detect and gather data, to be processed by machines, and develop better procedures and products for risk measurement, home automation and others. Companies like DropIn are utilising on-demand live video for policy underwriting, claims, and retention.

The UK has the largest insurance industry in Europe, generating $320 billion in revenue in 2019. In addition to this, a Deloitte survey found that over 77% of customers aged 25–34 would like to use their mobile phones to purchase and manage general insurance policies, something which is not provided by many insurance providers.

Legaltech = Legal + Technology

Legaltech is another utiliser of blockchain technology, using smart contracts to prove legitimacy. A big player in the Netherlands, LegalMatters, is an online platform for entrepreneurs. It offers a total package of legal products and services at competitive and fixed prices.

Legaltech is a growing area. After investments around the $225 million mark for a few years, 2018 saw explosive growth of 713% to $1.66 billion. Among other things, this is due to the relevance of e-Discovery, an electronic service for finding relevant information about lawsuits and investigations from within thousands of documents.

Madtech: Marketing + Advertising + Technology

Madtech covers Martech and Adtech — tools that enable companies to better interact with their customers and potential audience, with the end-goal of improving sales.

A company that is ticking boxes both in Martech and sustainability is Green Story, a consumer engagement platform for businesses that want to be more responsible. The company bridges the gap of consumer intent to be more environmentally friendly and the action for green purchasing, which improves website and in-store conversions for greener businesses.

The market value for Martech was anticipated to exceed $17 billion globally last year. This has encouraged many more companies to seek new solutions through processes like those we use at Eli5 (e.g. proofs-of-concept), for fear of missing the MadTech bandwagon.

Proptech = Property + Technology

New online platforms like marketplaces, using blockchains to buy and sell homes, management software to connect construction to developers to letters, and more creatively using virtual and augmented reality to visualise designs for architects and interior designers.

Demonstrating how specific some digital products can be, Bowery have designed a platform to revolutionise the appraisal process. Not only making the job of an appraiser more efficient but improving the customer experience, by connecting an ever-growing database with public data sources, adding in-depth filtering and automated reports.

Less than 6 months into 2019, investment in Proptech had reached a record high. In 2019, investment in U.S. Proptech was on pace to exceed $10 billion.

Regtech = Regulation + Technology

An emerging group mostly used in the banking sector, Regtech aims to improve compliance and data protection. Often involving repetitive tasks, there are lots of manual regulatory processes that can be automated with digital products.

At Eli5, we have developed Regtech for an international bank — a simple in-house application for staff to collaboratively work on regulatory projects. By automating manual tasks, our digital solution reduced project times from 24 months to just 6 months.

According to a Market Study Report, over the next five years, the Regulatory Technology market will register a 24.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate in terms of revenue, the global market size will reach $4 billion by 2024, up from $1.4 billion in 2019.

Retailtech = Retail + Technology

Bringing online shopping experiences to stores using technologies such as beacons and virtual reality is one of Retailtech’s goals.

In November 2019, Dutch retail giant Albert Heijn opened an autonomous NanoStore at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Visitors walk in and walk out by touching a contactless debit card at the door to open it, then items are automatically registered and paid for. Shoppers can also check their purchases at the exit to verify the receipt.

In 2019, Nike celebrated strong year-on-year revenue growth, which they attribute to major investments in its digital and technology operations. They reported revenues of $39.1 billion, a 7.5% increase from the same period a year earlier.


Be humble. Build products. — Building user centered digital products with forward thinking companies, from Fortune 500 to promising startups.

Lauren Macpherson

Written by

Growth and business strategy consultant specialising in digital innovation // @ &



Be humble. Build products. — Building user centered digital products with forward thinking companies, from Fortune 500 to promising startups.

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