As the year closes, you may want to take some time out and figure out where to place your bets as an investor, set up shop as an entrepreneur or look to acquire as an incumbent. The following four trends may help you along.
FinTech will continue to see an upswing in entrepreneur and investor interest on the personal and small business financing front. Non deposit taking startups have emerged, that use hitherto ignored sources of data to create credit risk profiles upon which they can advance loans on their platforms without having to ever meet the client. Others are providing tools to help small and medium sized businesses collect revenue and over time build a business cash flow profile that has opened up a new line of business around unsecured cash advances at rates that are more favorable than banks. There are many ways that the two opportunities can be extended upon.
The attention given to bitcoin over the past year through big dollar investments, marketplace jesting and court cases has only served to increase interest in its origins and possible disruptive properties. Block chain technology as proven by the creator(s) of the bitcoin cryptocurrency will continue to drive disruption across many industries, bringing efficiency, trust and immense cost savings. The smart contract discussion will probably find its way to the August House as the various scandals around misappropriation and theft of funds have stirred a pubic and political outcry. Initiatives such as Open Ledger spearheaded by the Linux Foundation with early commitments from technology and financial service powerhouses confirm the value of distributed ledger systems.
Retail will grow up and innovate around personalizing the consumer experience using data to better position and recommend products and services. Traditional big name retailers will take on ecommerce players with their own online properties to mitigate the loss of revenue from lost foot traffic and margin attrition. We will also see more investment and interest in the logistics sector that handles fulfillment. Fulfillment more so for day to day household consumables is yet to raise a clear market leader despite the obvious opportunity.
The power of personal data will become more visible to the consumer. The social media craze has seen a large majority of consumers chase followers, likes and other vanity metrics positioned as important by the owners of the platforms. As online activity and relationships start to factor as a parameter on matters that have a direct economic benefit we will see consumers get picky on who they connect with or engage online. It will become evident that your network is your net worth and many relationships will be culled.
Not in any way exhaustive of the flow of global opportunity, but an unfair start nonetheless for anyone looking for a cheat sheet to start them off next year in the Kenyan market.