Big 50-2016 Startup Report: Early Observations

Thanks to everyone who nominated a startup to watch in 2016. It’s going to take the Startup50 team a little time to dig through all of the nominations. We received more than 200, but some patterns are already starting to emerge.

First, the market sector with the most nominations is Big Data – by a landslide. There is almost certainly some selection bias skewing these results, since my last Big 50 report was the Big Data 50. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that this space is hot.

I moved a number of startups out of the Big Data category because the startups were a better fit elsewhere, but even this is a positive sign for the space. It tells me that data analytics features are getting built into a wide variety of business software, from marketing automation to recruiting to app testing.

Big Data is also leading the way in the companion Startup50 Market Sector Survey, our survey about the sectors you, our readers, think we should pay the most attention to. If you haven’t voted already, please do. The survey will remain open for another week.

Again, there could be some selection bias at play, but the margin in this survey was even greater than the Big Data nomination advantage.

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Other early data points:

Entries received: 211

Hottest market sectors: Big Data, AI, Cyber-security, cloud, IoT, Mobile

Sectors with fewer nominations than I expected: AR/VR, wearables, robotics/drones, sharing services (such Uber, Airbnb, WeWork, etc.), smart cities, cryptocurrencies

Write-in sectors: WAN optimization, voice-controlled apps, network management, water, storage

Percentage of startups w/ at least seed or crowdfunding: 94%

Percentage w/ VC funding: 75%

Funding yet


The following information comes from the Startup50 market sector survey, which will remain open until February 17:

Top three market sectors (as of 2/9): 1. Big Data, 2. AI/Machine learning, 3. Cyber-security

Survey takers are able to choose more than one market sector. Of those selecting more than one sector, these are their highest-rated sectors so far: 1. Cyber-security, 2. AI/Machine learning, 3. SaaS/cloud, 4. Smart cities

Word cloud representing the sectors readers predict will have the highest upside in 2016: