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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in various ways and created shifts in some technology startup sub-sectors. It revived several that were previously in decline, like Gaming and Edtech.
According to a report by Startup Genome, a policy advisory and research organisation, the impact of COVID-19 has seen rapid growth in the market share for Life Sciences startups, rising 9% globally from 2019 to 2020. Funding in Cleantech (clean technology) has also grown steadily since 2016, as a result of increased awareness of the importance of tackling climate change and growing investor interest in the sector.
Key findings from the report show that Deep Tech (Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics, Blockchain, Agtech and New Food, AI and Big Data) remains the fastest growing group globally with Fintech also having experienced substantial growth in the last five years.
The five Growth sub-sectors are increasing in size at an astounding pace, with an average 107% rise in early-stage funding deals over just five years
Edtech and Gaming, both on the edge of the decline phase in 2019, have experienced an increase in Series A funding that returned them to the Mature Phase. In particular, gaming, which has had a reduced market share since 2017, has seen startups in the field experience much quicker access to Series A funding in recent years compared to 2019 and 2020 which saw a decrease of almost 21% globally and 25% in Europe.
On a global level, both Life Sciences and Cleantech have also experienced a small increase in speed of access to Series A funding. In Europe, this trend was much faster, with Life Sciences showing a 24% decrease in time taken to access funding from 2019 to 2020 and Cleantech down 16%. Traditionally a slow sub-sector to gain access to funding because of regulations, Life Sciences —which comprises just 8% of global startups— has, since 2019, caught up to other sub-sectors in Europe as barriers have been reduced and added $183 billion in Ecosystem Value in 2020.
The Agtech (agriculture technology) and new food sectors show market gain as more interest is shown in accelerating sustainable methods of feeding the world.
Advanced Manufacturing also showed significantly increased speed of access to Series A funding in Europe.
For a deeper understanding of the impact that COVID-19 has had on tech sub-sectors, access the full report here.