Trends Watch: FinTech and Future-of-Work
- Aug 12, 2021
EisnerAmper’s Trends Watch is a weekly entry to our Alternative Investments Intelligence blog, featuring the views and insights of executives from alternative investment firms. If you’re interested in being featured, please contact Elana Margulies-Snyderman.
This week, Elana talks with Serge Milman, Co-Founder/General Partner of 840 Venture Partners.
What is your outlook for VC?
Our outlook is very positive and that is being validated by the record level of capital flowing into VC thus far in 2021. Our verticals of focus are fintech and future-of-work (FoW). Until we see opportunities for financial inclusion and literacy open to EVERYONE (and we mean everyone), we believe that there is rampant opportunity in fintech. We are seeing this come to life today in all facets of neo-banking, non-FICO based credit access, and loan underwriting. But it is still just the tip of the iceberg. In FoW, the opportunities are starkly clear as we see long-term technology adoption that was accelerated by the pandemic. Remote work, software automation, and data technologies will continue to be areas of explosive growth.
What are the greatest opportunities you see and why?
Just in the U.S, there are 70 million unbanked and underbanked Americans. If you look outside the borders to LatAm and South America, that number swells to hundreds of millions of people. And we're not talking "subprime" here. We are talking about blue- and white-collar working class people who can't purchase a couch without paying 200% APR in Mexico. Slowly but steadily, tech is opening doors and borders and expanding the middle-class that is the "American" dream. Other tremendous areas of opportunity are technologies which will support the unprecedented distributed workforce (>30% of U.S. office workers are expected to work remotely multiple days per week on a permanent basis post-pandemic) and those which leverage increasingly rich data for business decisions across all industries.
What are the greatest challenges you face and why?
Access to deals, hours in the day and inbox management. Focus is key. That's why we focus on what we know and love: fintech and FoW. But even with that, I often wish there were more hours in the day.
What keeps you up at night?
My inbox. The inbound is nonstop. And of course, the recurring nightmare of all VCs: passing up an investment in a future unicorn that is right in front of me. It's true what they say about regretting things you don't do more than things that you do. Not pulling the trigger on what turns out to be a mega-winner is always more difficult to live down than the losing investments.
The views and opinions expressed above are of the interviewee only, and do not/are not intended to reflect the views of EisnerAmper.
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Elana Margulies-Snyderman is an investment industry reporter and writer who develops articles, opinion pieces and original research designed to help illuminate the most challenging issues confronting fund managers and executives.
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