J.P. Morgan will host 50 companies and over 500 investors at the ninth annual European Tech Stars Conference from September 22-23. With attendance up more than 40%, interest in tech investment is clearly continuing to grow. Ahead of the conference, the J.P. Morgan European tech investment banking team explores some of the key upcoming themes.

Now, the expectation is that you can get anything in less than an hour—if this doesn't happen, you're not going to keep the consumer.

Food Delivery Trends

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    Matt Gehl
    Co-Head of EMEA Technology
    Investment Banking

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    What will the next level of innovation look like in food delivery and where will we see growth?

    Online food delivery has been greeted with skepticism by the market at each stage of launch. When online grocery delivery launched, the need for it was questioned as people liked going to the store. Then when takeaways went online, there was skepticism as people liked calling their local takeaway and knew what they wanted. The fact is, sometimes as consumers we don’t know what we want until something differentiated is put in front of us.

    Logistics was the next area of innovation in food takeaway and consumers are now accustomed to ordering what they want from someone like Wolt, tracking it and getting it within an hour—often faster. Logistics innovation is now moving to convenience grocery where companies like Gorillas and Zapp are offering delivery in as little as 10 minutes. The next frontier is expanding the number of SKUs that are available in grocery and moving into areas like flowers, over-the-counter drugstore products and other convenience items. The industry vision is that you should be able to get any standard product delivered in 10 to 20 minutes for similar prices to those in your local shop.

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    Are environmental factors influencing the food delivery space?

    Yes, very much so. We are seeing companies taking environmental concerns to heart. A lot of food delivery companies primarily have delivery drivers using bikes and some are looking at ways to implement electric scooters and mopeds. Some are looking at carbon offset if they do need to make use of cars. Environmental concern really is at the forefront of people’s focus.

The Growth of Digital Health

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    How has COVID-19 accelerated digital health?

    Telemedicine accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still early days with more innovation to come. Just getting the consumer comfortable with telemedicine will be the first step—the next will be AI-based triage. A large proportion of GP visits do not need to happen in person, so this will help ease the pressure on doctors. Innovators in this space include Kry and BeeHealthy, providing digital health care platforms for doctors and patients to access.

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    Are we moving towards the consumerization of health care?

    It goes both ways. Budgets are predominantly focused on the B2B side and there’s a lot of innovation in practice management and the drug development pipeline.

    However, we’re seeing the consumerization of health care to aid preventative medicine, which is more cost effective. There’s a lot of innovation around wearables. They can be the next generation of glucose monitors, heartbeat monitors and more. The Apple Watch can already monitor some vital signs and identify issues like an irregular heartbeat, and there is a lot more to come in this area from Apple and many others. This can then feed into insurance policies and ways to incentivize people to take more ownership of their health.

Innovation in Payments

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    Xavier Bindel
    Co-Head of EMEA Technology
    Investment Banking

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    COVID-19 accelerated changes within payments and cash is no longer king. Will it stay this way?

    Absolutely, yes. Cash was used in 50-60% of transactions in mature markets back in 2010, now it’s just 20-30%. This is a trend that is here to stay because money movement is faster and cheaper, driven by technology and the proliferation of payment methods. There are now many ways to pay digitally, resulting in excellent customer adoption.

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    Fraud is a key concern as more transactions move online—what will change here?

    Fraud is definitely a concern but innovation in regtech is impressive. For example, software can be used to analyze documents like bank statements to check authenticity—it is far more effective than human beings. All new technologies are very effectively used to prevent fraud and data is a key enabler. Massive amounts of capital are invested by industry players to preserve the trust that is a core foundation of the payment sector.

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    What does the future of digital currencies look like?

    While buying and selling digital currencies is becoming increasingly mainstream, the opportunities to spend them are somewhat limited in comparison to their volatility. An increasing number of companies are embracing cryptocurrencies though. A full ecosystem is emerging, still nascent but fascinating. It is only the beginning, there are still many aspects that have to be carefully managed such as scalability, security and volatility.

Making Insuretech Mainstream

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    Thinking about the importance of personalization, will insurance become more about people than products?

    Insuretech is a relatively new sector and I think we are just ahead of a major thing. It’s difficult to disrupt a big sector in a few years, but over time insuretech will be very sizable. Why so? Consumer experience is important, flexible pricing is attractive. There are in reality many business models and one by one most insurance products and client categories are being addressed. A few years from now insuretech companies will use data not only to offer attractive policies but also to give advice to consumers or businesses and help them at various points in time, not just when an incident happens.

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    Does Blockchain have a part to play in insuretech?

    For sure. In today’s connected world, organizations operate more as part of a networked business ecosystem comprising multiple parties. While the insuretech space is by definition mostly digital, there is still space for erosion in trust. Blockchain or distributed ledger technology can help address this challenge—the availability of agreed-upon data on the shared ledger in real time should minimize disputes, and built-in smart contracts aid faster decision making.

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    Blockchain is making an impact in a much wider space now. One thing that is interesting is the trend around non-fungible tokens (NFT). There is an immense amount of capital going into that space and lots of investor interest.

The Future of Regtech

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    Will technology drive regulatory processes and access to data?

    It was very manual previously, technology is a big help. Regtech promises to disrupt the regulatory landscape by providing technologically advanced solutions to the ever increasing demands of compliance within the financial industry. We clearly see an acceleration in the adoption of technology, leveraging AI and data to make a number of processes more effective and more reliable, at a lower cost.

Tech Stars Conference Attendees

Alan Clark Qonto Thought Machine
Banking Circle Cognite Quantexa TIER Mobility
BeeHealthy Feedzai Raisin Transfermate
Bloom & Wild FixMobility Razor Group Visma
Bolt Forto Sennder Wallapop
Bought by Many N26 Signicat WeFox
BUX Oda Solarisbank Wolt
Callsign PPRO StepSteone Zapp
Casavo Prima Assicurazioni SumUp Zwift

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