How real are frontier startups?

How real is the frontier tech for startups?

Every day the new tech trends and innovation development takes the spot with news about startups, companies and people trying to get the next technology that changes our lives.

Based on Michael Dempsey´s report for CB Insights

After some years trying to convince investors and traditional business people about this trends, they seems to begin getting engaged with the future of these technologies. One week before a business meeting, one guy, around his 60´s, asked me about how real could new technologies like drones, 3D printing among others be. The talk went to public policy and what we should be doing like a country to take a place in the game of the future. It´s interesting, but with these guy, there are six persons with the same profile asking me over and over the same question. All of them after read the newest book “Crear o morir” by Andres Oppenheimer, one of the most known economic journalists in Latin America.

For Dempsey, the frontier tech is the technology related to drones, space, augmented reality and virtual reality, frontier startups had raised $3.2B since 2014 and $2.2 in first half of 2015.


Source: CBInsights Report, August 28, 2015

Ronthenberg Ventures and Google Ventures are the most active VCs in frontier tech, after them, there are a variety VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm Ventures, Lux Capital and Intel Capital. Also there are some corporate, big and small movements around different investors to get on this game, remember the Alphabet movement of Google to protect finance and take risks in different areas like these technologies.In the corporate side, the most important players are Google Ventures, Qualcomm, Verizon, Legendary.

Even when there has been a lot of investment activity, the exits are still just a few. Some of the most important are: Oculus VR, the creator of Oculus Rift acquired by Facebook in 2014 by $2B. Skybox Imaging, acquired by Google for $500M, utilizes satellites to provide analysis about what is happening in the Earth. BlackBridge, acquired on 2015 by Planet Labs focused one global image and Urthecast, the provider of near-live streaming HD video.

If money exists, the innovation and new technology development can happen.

The last number shows an intense activity focused on strategic and life-changers industries.For me, the most exciting to see throughout the evolution is:

1. The space, where companies have raised more than $1.8B since 2014. The key players are the known SpaceX, OneWebPlanet Labs and MapBox.

Source: CBInsights Report, August 28, 2015 

2. Drones, where companies have raised $285 million since 2014 in equity financing. Here we find: DJI Innovations, 3D robotics, and notably five of the nine VCs have all invested in Airware, which is the developer of an operating system for drones.

3. Agriculture precision, that is just any agriculture practice done in a data-driven way in order to increase efficiency. The market is huge and is a great opportunity to for local startups.

4. And the last, augmented reality and virtual reality or AR/VR, since 2014, these companies have raised $1 billion, Magic Leap’s $542 million financing. They are changing the marketing and gaming industry.

Like I said, it is exciting to live in this times, where the world is changing so fast, and we can stay here to see the future coming to us.

Full report:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s