The Next Gen Big Trends & Ideas in 2023

Reimagining the way our next generation will live, learn, work and play for the year ahead

As venture investors, we’re always most interested in what’s to come. We recently spoke with our partners and investors to highlight 5 big ideas and trends that will shape the way next generation live, learn and play in the year ahead.

2023 will be the year of breakthrough for buying. Next generation consumers will be the key driver of innovation, ranging from social commerce, video commerce to discovery commerce.

Video is remains an amazing way to educate consumers about a brand’s value proposition. With the prevalence of short form, long-form and livestream videos, everyone can become a seller. We’re excited at new companies which employs innovative ways to acquire and retain consumers based on a purpose-led brand proposition.

Our portfolio focus: Buddy Bites

2. Talent Marketplaces Will Specialise

Job changes under COVID and massive layoffs has led to many looking to make a career change. This creatives huge opportunity for ventures that change the way companies hire and retain talent.

For businesses, being able to source and vet qualified candidates is more important than ever, especially as most industries don’t have a LinkedIn equivalent. It’s likely that in 2023, a new wave of labor marketplaces will help employees build identity and reputation, connect directly with hiring managers, and get training and resources to build their careers.

Our portfolio focus: Find Recruiter

3. AI Adoption — A User-First Mentality

History teaches us that a user-first product development mentality is key for consumers to adopt technology at scale (think AR with its mass adoption on Pokémon Go and social media face filters).

The recent emergence of GPT-3 is another case of people starting to play around with these technologies. We believe in 2023, AI adoption will be driven by founders who put user behaviours and psychology first to create products that can be readily embraced by everyday consumers in the way they live, learn and play.

Our portfolio focus: The Aspirers, Hashcademy

4. Web 3 Native Games Will be Fun and Broadly Appealing

We’re at the crossroad where a new generation of web3 native games will be unlocked. Most importantly, they will be fun, broadly appealing, and uniquely enabled by blockchain technologies.

It usually takes a few tries for developers to learn to build on new platforms — mobile games Pokémon Go was seen as the first true mobile-native game powered by unique smartphone features such as GPS and camera integration but it became popular almost 10 years after the release of the iPhone in 2007.

We can’t rush the product cycle. However, when done correctly, web3 presents a powerful platform where creators can be properly incentived. As such, I believe we’ll see the first web3-native games emerge in the coming years.

Our portfolio focus: Cabana

5. Advertising Will Be Reimagined For The Gaming World

Advertising will combine with gaming to lead the movement on the future of advertising. We’ve seen snippets of this, from in-game advertising, product placement, cross-promotions (Kitkat repurposed its tagline “Have a break. Have a KitKat” in its “Giving gamers a break” campaign integrated into FIFA 22 and sponsorships (tech giants like Intel to consumer leaders such as Red Bull have bee consistent major sponsors of esports events).

Our portfolio focus: KIX Esports

We remain excited at transformational ideas and companies that look to make our world a better, more collaborative and purposeful place. If you are interested in any form of collaboration or looking for investment, please feel free to reach out.

Wing Lee (winglee@wnjventures.com)

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