Five startup predictions for 2019

Augustin Sayer
Dec 28, 2018 · 4 min read
© Frank V. (franckinjapan)

This is the first time I give this exercise a go. These are trends (mostly France-centric) I have been witnessing at work, and I believe they will materialize in 2019:

  1. Acceleration of acquisitions of D2C startups 📈
    In 2011, the 50 biggest consumer groups — including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo and General Mills — were growing at an average of 7 per cent, according to the consultancy OC&C. But that rate has dropped every year since, and in 2016 average sales actually fell. Having lost the trust of consumers, these large consumer-facing conglomerates will ramp up their M&A of D2C (direct to consumer) brands. Startups in the space such as Feed Food will be acquired. There is a great Medium article on this phenomenon. #dtc
  2. CAC 40 companies start caring about their customers 💁‍ ️
    This will be the year of customer-centric startups (or startups that help others provide better customer service). French often say bad customer service is something cultural but with the advent of Google Maps and other rating systems, french millenials have shown they do not tolerate being taken for a ride with their money. Restaurants below a 3.9 on Google will have a tough time to keep open, businesses that do not take credit cards are shutting themselves from the younger cashless crowd, and stores that do not offer advantageous return policies will see their clients switch to Amazon. Industry by industry, customer service is becoming a priority in France, especially for french brands. Just look at the success of client-centric Starbucks in France —french competition expected them to close shortly after opening their first Paris store in 2004. “The ☕️ is mehhh, and it’s an 🇺🇸 brand. They don’t understand french customers.” It now has 160 stores throughout the country. I expect a lot of funding (and acquisitions) in that space! #customerservice #cac40
  3. Real blockchain is back! ₿🥇
    Now that many of the blockchain scams have disappeared, investors will go back to investing into real blockchain startups. The ones that provide actual utility, such as heightened server security or improved data infrastructure. I am excited for this one and expect VCs to look at the space more seriously. Look out for Veridium Official or Devery leading the way in taking advantage of decentralized ledgers to solve a true pain point. How about Whatsapp wanting to start its own currency in India? #blockchain #crypto
  4. French VCs become European 🇫🇷->🇪🇺
    As American and Int’l VCs used 2018 to open a French office (thank you StationF), French VCs will use 2019 to become truly pan-european as their startups consistently look beyond the French market for growth. (Hint: make sure your product or service is also in english if you want to fundraise). Newfund, on the other hand, went directly transatlantic and opened an office in San Francisco a few years back (Henri Deshays is our partner there). With our investments in India and China, we could say we have gone global 😉 #frenchVCs
  5. Not yet the year of Food tech 🍔😔
    Food tech is all the talk these days. Beyond Meat just filed for its IPO. Impossible burger expanded to Asia. Feed, mentioned above, raised €15M to conquer the US, while its british counterpart Huel, raised £20M. Two of my good friends are starting plant-based nutrition companies (Plantifull and Rootcraft) on two different continents. The story goes on. But in order to be VC-compatible, there needs to be a distinctive zone of genius that many food startups have yet to find. At least in France, I don’t really see a trend nor an enthusiasm for disrupting what french people consider one of their greatest asset: its food and cuisine. I do love that industry though so I am hoping to be proven wrong. Email me your most disruptive food tech decks pls #food
Doesn’t this vegan burger look delicious? © Lefteris kallergis (lefterisk)

I hope you enjoyed this and please feel free to comment if you agree or disagree on a specific point!

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Augustin Sayer

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Principal @ Newfund Mgmt |

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