It seems that the pandemic has done nothing to dampen investment into technology businesses both in the UK and globally. We continue to see a boom in technology businesses seeking and securing investment, especially those in the areas of healthcare, education, facilitating remote working and sustainability. What trends have we witnessed in 2021 and what is in store?
The future of fundraising events is this to be virtual?
These have traditionally been in-person but it has shifted to virtual. These remain key for tech businesses to engage with potential investors, build networks and forms an essential element in growing business relationships.
In-person events have been absent, which did have a significant impact. Yet tech companies have adapted to meet the ‘new normal’ leading to an explosion in virtual events.
Virtual conferences allow people to attend from the comfort of their own home, allowing attendees to overcome geographical limitations. They give founders the chance to promote their business, through presentations and networking attending more events than if in person. They engage speakers, sponsors, and supporters who otherwise may have been unable to join. There is no need to book flights, other forms of travel, hotel rooms, or any other necessities.
Ethical investing goes mainstream
More money has been flowing into tech businesses that focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance than ever. The pandemic seems to have reinforced interest in investing in companies that address issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Many experienced investors are fearing that the economic fallout could happen again. The renewed interest in corporate responsibility; and cost-effective solutions will help new tech businesses speed up the integration into traditional corporations, that might have been years away from the actions they are now taking.
Digital marketing to secure investment
It is vital that organisation do not fall behind on digital presence and should maintain their website, social media channels, and provide regular content updates.
Businesses thriving in this new reality are those who are embracing digital marketing. It is important, however, that companies still do this within the parameters of Financial Promotion restrictions and ensure they adhere to Data Protection regulations and governance.
Data Protection & Cyber-security has attracted a lot of attention with fines and new legislation, so companies need to keep abreast of their own compliance as well as assisting its end users.
Versatility is the new normal
The new landscape for tech companies will require them to be nimble. Companies will continue to find new avenues and approaches to meet the economic and logistical demands of COVID-19. The climate will remain uncertain. The best way to account for uncertainty is versatility.
Buying/selling online, away from retail high streets, has been accelerated and robust terms, GDPR, and insurances are ever more essential for a thriving online business to stay ahead of the curve. If you have no online arm, but provide products this will be a serious area of weakness in most tech business plans.
Use of online crowdfunding platforms to find investment opportunities is on the rise. Crowdfunding is most often used by start-up companies or growing businesses as a way of accessing alternative funds. It is an innovative way of sourcing funding for new projects, businesses or ideas.
It can also be a way of cultivating a community around your offering. By using the power of the online community, you can also gain useful market insights and access to new customers.
We hope that 2021 continue to be a boom year for investments into technology businesses but just as businesses look ahead, it is important, they also keep an eye on trends as they emerge to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape.
Karen Holden is an award-winning solicitor, media commentator and founder of A City Law Firm. She was one of 100 women invited into the Freedom of the City in 2019, an accolade previously bestowed upon Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher. Karen specialises in advising businesses about scaling-up, starting up, investments, Brexit, Covid-19 and everything in between.