2021 was our first full year of operation. And what a year it has been... Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, we’ve seen camaraderie and human ingenuity at its best. We have a lot to be thankful for, including our wonderful community of readers, and the growth of our team and portfolio.
We’ve decided to round off 2021 by offering up our top five predictions for the next five years, in Moonfire’s core areas of interest. We’re also excited to reveal the funding rounds of multiple Moonfire portfolio companies (more details below).
We know how much excellent content there is out there, and we appreciate you taking the time to read our thoughts. Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!
Moonfire's Five for Five
Our 5 predictions for the next 5 years!
1. Tens of millions of people will earn a living through gameplay, blurring the line between work and play even further. Despite the potential danger of intense government regulation, at least one crypto-native, community-centric game will have an economy larger than the market cap of the largest gaming company. Today, crypto games like Axie Infinity and Sorare financialise fun and bring together numerous financial and non-financial stakeholders within their gaming network. But they are just scratching the surface of GameFi. If you’re interested in crypto gaming, we’ve done a deep dive blog post that you can read here.
2. DeFi will completely reset power dynamics of the current global financial structures by testing the traditional banks' ability to provide high quality products in a cost-effective manner. Hence, traditional banks will either innovate/adapt or will face commoditisation of their offering with diminishing margins over time. As scalability gets solved, decentralisation loses its stigma and attractive yield farming becomes accessible, there will be broad mainstream adoption. DeFi will also get deeper government support and at least one fiat currency will transition to or be mirrored by a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
3. Virtual healthcare will become commonplace, with over 25% of current total spend and interactions happening through digital/telehealth services (currently <5%). While the recent uptick was borne out of necessity ensuing from the COVID pandemic, digital health will penetrate deeper into all parts of the healthcare process as providers and patients accept that virtual care pathways can maintain (if not improve) efficacy while augmenting accessibility and efficiency. We will witness a growth in specialty/condition-specific virtual-first health plans along with hospital-at-home and e-triage solutions.
4. Everyone will be a 'creator' to some extent. We will move away from mandating standardisation (gig economy) to valuing and monetising our uniqueness. Creation will continue to have a strong, recurring return profile. This 'enterprisation' of the consumer will have a big effect on the delivery of work. The supply chain of talent is littered with middlemen and contractors who will now become obsolete as creators connect directly with their audience through smart contracts, decentralisation and social tokens. This will also empower long-tail creators to break through the mould and monetise deeply.
5. Virtual reality will finally become viable and widely used. Despite the efforts of Microsoft and Meta, Apple will make a major splash in the XR world as it aims to keep people hooked on its vertically integrated ecosystem. Apple (perhaps alone) has the hardware capabilities and the developer ecosystem to do so. These platforms will create walled-garden metaverses to retain customers but will face strong rifts with decentralised projects.
The Moonfire Galaxy Expands!
We participated in four recently closed and exciting investment rounds: two new seed investments, a follow on in a fantastic Series B, and supported one of our portfolio companies in the most successful EdTech crowdfunding ever on Seedrs!
Bound's $6.5m seed round
Seth, Dan and their team are helping SMEs by taking the pain out of managing currency risk, through offering a great software solution that assists with FX hedging. We’re excited to be investing alongside our friends at Valar Ventures.
Flowrite’s $4.4M seed round
The Helsinki-based company supercharges your daily communication, using AI to automate the writing of well-crafted, personal emails. The user just inputs a few key words of text while the ML tool fills in the rest, in an almost "ready-to-send" format and the user's tone of choice.
We think Flowrite will change the quality of our everyday written communication, driving efficiency and higher quality of delivery. It’s great to work with our co-investors Project A Ventures, Seedcamp, Lifeline Ventures, and angel investors Ilkka Paananen, Sven Ahrens and Johannes Schildt.
Mindstone's record-breaking crowdfunding campaign
Mindstone's crowdfunding campaign that saw them raise €1.7 million, firmly placing the campaign amongst the largest EdTech funding rounds to date!
With Mindstone, the learning environment can be fundamentally changed. Their platform allows experts from any industry to create online courses, pulling together videos, articles and podcasts from across the internet, to enable a varied and dynamic learning experience. Congratulations to CEO & Co-founder Joshua Wöhle and the whole Mindstone team.
Great to work alongside co-investors Mustard Seed, Eamonn Carey, US VC Scout Fund, Zanichelli Venture and Andrew Gault on this one.
Pento's $35M Series B
Pento, a provider of innovative payroll automation software for SMEs, was one of my first investments when I set up Moonfire. They just raised a $35M Series B, co-led by Tiger Global Management and Avid Ventures.
In the June 2021 newsletter, I wrote about Pento’s Series A and the team’s ability to consistently execute. It’s fantastic to see how Jonas, Emil and their team are continuing to flourish.
Product of the Month
We like SigmaOS because it’s a browser that’s truly designed to helping users work in a highly efficient manner; it also makes multitasking a lot easier too. Like Slack, SigmaOS’s browser activity is separated into workspaces - one workspace per project which we think makes a lot of sense.
Thanks for reading and happy holidays!