Top predictions on tech in 2017 from Norwest Venture Partners

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Top predictions on tech in 2017 from Norwest Venture Partners

With a portfolio including blockbuster names like the ride-hailing service Uber and cardiac health technology developer iRhythm, Norwest Venture Partners‘ team has ranged far and wide through the tech landscape.

Here are their predictions for what’s ahead in 2017 and perhaps an indication of where the team will spend some of the $1.2 billion they raised for their thirteenth fund just one year ago.


Real estate technology finally makes its debut

Companies focused specifically on the real estate market, which is the single largest class asset in the U.S. alone, will finally have their day in the sun. Not only because they are becoming more sophisticated, but because there is finally an inflection point where they are needed. Easier solutions to help buy, sell, rent and own properties will now be at the fingertips of millions — and people will no longer have to go through long, drawn out and frankly, out-of-date processes in order to be a part of the real estate market. – Jeff Crowe


Mental health tools and therapy will become ubiquitous

Patients who have experienced the benefit of therapy will want a more accessible and easier to use platform to access their therapist and mental healthcare tools. As ‘text’ becomes ubiquitous as a communications platform, people will become increasingly comfortable using it as a conversation medium and will expand its use into other areas of their life, including therapy. A recent report by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry estimated that the depression healthcare market is roughly $99 billion. Innovators will continue to disrupt traditional healthcare models for mental health. – Jared Hyatt


Fintech will continue to ramp

Yes, it’s true. Millennials are disrupting everything, including the broader financial services ecosystem. Findings from the Millennial Disruption Index (MDI), a three-year study of industry disruption, are scary for banks, but opportunity for fintech startups: of the 10,000+ millennial respondents, 1 in 3 would switch banks in the next 90 days, more than half don’t think their banks offer anything different than other banks and all 4 of the leading banks are among the ten least loved brands by millennials. 2016 saw record fintech investments and we don’t expect that to slow down. Expect to see a slew of new startups in 2017. These are firms that will provide a personalized user experience for digital natives with a focus on simplicity, transparency, automation and real financial guidance. — Lisa Wu


Insurance Tech Heats Up

VCs put $167 million to work in the insurance market in the third quarter of 2016. Why? Because current insurance models don’t work for today’s “consume what you need” customers. There’s a huge opportunity to build more flexible models in car insurance, travel insurance, home/renters insurance and even health insurance. Companies like Metromile, SimpleInsurance and Oscar Health are already ahead of curve and in 2017, we’ll continue to see new startups enter the scene to shakeup this staid industry. Parker Barrile


Here's what's next in EdTech

Today, education doesn’t stop at getting into your dream college, earning your degree and landing the perfect job. The education system has hit an inflection point due to new educational technologies entering the market and the increased availability of resources. In turn, this is impacting the expectations of employers. The skills employees obtain from their degrees or vocational training are no longer quite enough — there’s always something new to learn to keep pace with the fast-paced innovative tech cycle. As a result, companies that dedicate resources to online learning and continued education for their employees will succeed in the coming years. We will also see more and more employees seek out these career development opportunities to stay competitive and improve performance. — Sergio Monsalve


Digital Therapeutics: patient engagement will be the blockbuster of 2017

Software built using persuasive design will be used to create “experiences” for patients to help them self-manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.  Digital therapeutics takes protocols, often face to face, that are proven and uses intelligently designed mobile and web experiences to deploy them to more patients. Think of applying the techniques used to make Facebook and Candy Crush so engaging and applying them to behavior change in healthcare (with sound clinical thinking) and you have the start of a digital therapeutic. — Casper de Clercq