Investor confidence in web and mobile startups increased in 2010. The year has moved faster with new industries and sectors springing up. Foursquare changed the location business and Groupon proved that there is value in deals and coupons. Groupon witnessed the most clones in a single year. The two companies were the discoveries of the year. 2011 is a new beginning and startups with the most innovative ideas targeted at a global problem will receive huge investor attention. The following industries, segments and sectors will the most explored in the year. The trend will continue and investors will be looking out to invest in startups that will disrupt big markets.
Micropayment going mainstream: Micropayment is yet to be fully explored. Paypal has been here before but it did not turn out so well. A couple of other startups including twitpay and Dwolla are in this space. If the business model is gotten right, the patronage will be huge. Mobile network operators are opening up to micropayments and adopting new business models to cater for this emerging need. The huge market is in the emerging market particularly Africa. With the increase in mobile phones most the networkers are beginning with what they call “Mobile Money”. Notable examples include Orange (Kenya) Money in partnership with Equity Bank, the same bank that works on Safaricom’s M-Kesho mobile banking product powered by M-Pesa ,Essar Telecom’s yuCash mobile money product and Ghana’s MTN Mobile Money. The competition among mobile network operators will be keener in 2011.
Mobile applications will continue to soar. With the increase in smartphones especially the Android in Recent times, Mobile developers will design the most innovative mobile apps to serve the huge smartphone market. Businesses will embrace mobile applications to create more interesting and compelling interactions with their consumers. Developers will concentrate on business or enterprise mobile apps but the demand for consumer apps will increase at an amazing rate. The Appstore alone has over 300,000 apps and Android market is catching up. The Mobile market promises to be better and interesting in 2010
The Smartphone will be the new Credit Card. Mobile payment has been explored enough in 2010. 2011will see the proliferation of startups all focusing on providing some kind mobile payment that could replace credit cards. It will take time for mobile payment options to become normal across the spectrum of consumer activity. But the credit card will gradually be replaced. Starbucks “Mobile Card”, PayPal’s iPhone app, Google’s Zetawire have all begun well and it will proliferate in 2011. Your mobile will become your wallet and credit card.
Google and Facebook “Fight” For Dominance. The internet is getting matured and will prove to be a dominant force in your life. Google wants you to browse the internet through its services and Facebook keeps telling us that we are all social beings and we cannot live without interacting and connecting with others. Facebook is fighting for your shopping life as well. 2011 could be the beginning of your shopping experience on the social network. If they succeed, Facebook will be on the minds of the millions of online shoppers. Google will keep acquiring to add up to the over 80 startups acquired already. The fight for dominance will intensify in 2011.
Mobile advertising will rise as the “small screen” becomes your door to the internet. Mobile advertising is still in its infancy, but is set to grow rapidly in pace with the growth of the mobile web. The model for mobile advertising has still not been cracked. How exactly ads can be served on the mobile device without becoming nuisance is still hanging in the balance. Big guns like Apple, Google and Microsoft are pouring resources into mobile devices and services. Apple’s iAds is set to make a difference. Watch out for the iAds in 2011. One thing is clear however, the mobile phone is set to be a key content and advertising medium of the future.
Apple, Google and Microsoft Mobile War . 2011 is all about mobile communication. These giants know it all. Each of them is amassing resources to dominate. Each has a mobile device, OS to run it and a developer community who build apps for the device. Consumers have seen enough, they need that killer product or service that can change the way they communicate. The pie is big but who gets the most of it. You decide and let me know your impressions.
Social media will change the way consumers Shop. This will make a lot of current and future apps ripe for disruption. Facebook may be in the process of integrating commerce on its platform, but investors will be interested startups who can disrupt the social commerce space. Social media as fundamentally changing the way consumers buy things. If you can create a platform independent company that can tap into Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and LinkedIn platforms for shopping purposes, you are in to stay. Your model should be strong and convincing.
Watch out for part 2 of ideas and trends soon.