It's been a fantastic 2021 for some, and a tough year for others. I've enjoyed taking stock of the challenges and opportunities, looking towards the years ahead.
As part of that, I've reflected on what companies in particular I'm excited to watch in 2022. Let me know who you're watching.
Happy new year.
Local drone delivery / wing.com
- Drone delivery is making more sense. This video shows how it's not a replacement, but instead a complement to the existing on-ground delivery options for certain areas (ie. rural areas).
- Safer than normal deliveries. The drones fly in designated air corridors that sit below commercial aeroplanes, and are statically far less likely to have a collision.
- They've launched. Already in the US, Finland, and in Australia (Canberra, ACT and Logan, QLD).
- An Alphabet company. (Google etc.)
Self-driving car service / getcruise.com
- Not just testing anymore. Founder, Kyle Vogt, takes the first live, autonomous ride around San Francisco in a recent video.
- The cars are really smart. Video of their vehicles navigating really tough road situations shows how the tech is maturing.
- Bolstered by the best. Majority owned by General Motors, with partners like Microsoft, Honda and even Walmart.
Audio streaming platform / spotify.com
- Personalisation updates. "Made for you" playlists and experiences, like Daily Motivation, a combination of podcasts and music you're likely to enjoy.
- Podcast updates. Launching features like Ratings and Trailers, and continuing to invest in their hosting platform for podcasters, Anchor.
- Couple of predictions: They'll boost their Social features (like in-app sharing, activity feeds etc.) and expand into other audio formats (like audiobooks and live audio - see Greenroom)
Digital bank for young Australians / up.com.au
- Recently bought by Bendigo Bank. While they were key partners from the start, it's a signal that the bank see big opportunity in this space.
- Expanding product offering. With shared accounts available now, work on home loans underway and credit on the roadmap, they're becoming even stronger contenders with the big 4.
- Growing user base. In 2019 they had 100,000 users. By the end of 2021, they had 400,000. And with little mass market push (yet), the product has largely sold itself.
Compliance & visitor management for healthcare / zipline.io
- Product relevant & needed. In the current worldwide health climate, compliance is an evolving and top-of-mind problem to solve for healthcare.
- Growing team. From 40 to 60 people in the past 6 months (soon to be 80). I've also recently joined Zipline and it's exciting to be a part of the growth curve.
- USA expansion. Taking the proven product into the international market, bolstered by recent Series A2 funding.
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