With a focus on consumer software, I’m constantly looking for new trends that will impact consumers’ behavior in the coming year. As my team and I begin investing from our newly-raised Maven Fund II in January, here are some of the trends we’re considering for investment in 2016:

  • Consumer Health: individuals are part of the healthcare industry like never before. Trends such as the rise of shopping for insurance and medical procedures combined with the dramatic increase of high-deductible plans are causing people to interact with their healthcare expenses in new ways. We are excited about new businesses that will make this easier, more transparent, and cheaper for consumers, as well as other consumer-facing healthcare companies that are changing the way healthcare is delivered.
  • Virtual Reality: 2016 will be a turning point for the VR industry. With the recent launch of the Samsung Gear VR and the highly-anticipated Oculus Rift release planned for early 2016, consumers will finally have the chance to experience game-changing social VR experiences in their homes. We’re constantly thinking about new products and applications that will keep them coming back every day. Maven Fund I invested in one VR company, Altspace VR, which we think will be one of those. We’re actively seeking more consumer VR software investments for Fund II.
  • Esports: this is already a massive category in other parts of the world, and well on its way in the US. The Maven team is interested to find new messaging, communication, or other software applications that enable or enhance the esports experience.

I’ve already shared what we look for in a startup and team. If these ideas resonate with you, or you’re working on something similar, please get in touch! We’d also love to hear what other consumer trends you’re watching for 2016.

Thanks to my talented Maven teammates, Sara Thomas and Robert Ravanshenas, for reviewing and editing drafts of this post. Follow us on Twitter @mavenvc. 

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