By Sergio Monsalve, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners
I was recently interviewed by John Bautista, Partner in the Emerging Companies Group at Orrick, regarding the areas in which I am interested in investing, as well as the up-and-coming trends that are currently energizing me as an investor. There are many new and exciting technologies on the horizon, but the three that I am most enthusiastic about are the following:
1) SMB/ SaaS: We recently invested in a company called Adaptive Planning, a leader in cloud-based corporate performance management solutions. The company saw record results in 2011. The emergence of growing technologies like social mobile enable small enterprises to create very interesting workflow solutions that allow them to be more effective and efficient. There is an emergence of small / medium enterprise solutions that now allow companies to access these technologies in a much easier way – and for vendors to serve these companies in a much simpler way.
2) Mobile (Tablet and iPad specific): Mobile, and specifically the tablet subsector, provides a huge opportunity for growth – not only for consumers but also enterprises. From a consumer perspective, there are so many amazing apps that have been developed and released for tablets/iPads, but I think we are just scratching the surface of what it can do for a company. When looking at the mobility sector as a whole, I no longer look only at phones, I am now much more interested in what the iPad can do – it has the potential to cut across education, enterprise, consumer and of course gaming, an area in which it has already proven hugely successful and transformative.
3) Financial Technologies: Financial technologies, especially targeting consumers, is one segment that is of strong interest and in some areas it is discounted; this is especially true in the world of investing given the turmoil we’ve witnessed in the last three or four years with the stock market. A company in which we recently invested, Motif Investing , allows consumers to make better decisions about their investments – and I think that is a trend that is on the rise. Financial technologies in general, be it payments, billing or workflow solutions – is an area that continues to be interesting and has tremendous potential for growth.
For the original entry, visit Norwest Venture Partners. Follow him @vcserge
About Sergio Monsalve: Sergio is focused on early and growth investments in the digital media, mobile, and social areas. His current investments and board seats include Adaptive Planning, Bionic Panda Games, Branchout, Motif Investing, Rafter, and a couple of stealth projects. He was previously board of The DealMap (acquired by Google), myYearbook (acquired by Quepasa), and StarCite (acquired by The Active Network). He is a board participant and is involved with Lending Club.
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