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December 18, 2023
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Top VCs reveal Investment secrets and AI’s role in 2024 E-commerce.

In a recent survey, nine top Venture Capital (VC) firms shared their investment focus and predictions for e-commerce in 2024. Key points include:

  • Venture funding has been more difficult to secure in 2023, which has been taxing for startups, including those operating in the e-commerce sector.
  • Despite this challenging climate, VC firms are still optimistic about e-commerce investments, particularly those operating at the intersection of e-commerce and AI.
  • AI and its potential to lead to more innovation across tech, including e-commerce, is among the anticipated future growth sectors for these investors.

Among the surveyed firms were Insight Partners, PayPal Ventures, Speedinvest, Plug and Play, and Antler. Responses indicated a trend toward investing in companies that offer new technologies to embolden e-commerce.

Antler partner Alan Poensgen noted that despite the difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities still exist for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands and companies offering tech to enhance the e-commerce experience.

Representing PayPal Ventures, managing partner James Loftus highlighted that they invested in businesses that enabled sellers to penetrate new markets and resolve operational problems. Looking into 2024, Loftus added that PayPal Ventures plans to continue investing in startups focused on AI, fintech, and banking enablement platforms.

Plug and Play Ventures partner George Damouny stressed that AI can create new opportunities for startups in commerce and attract investors not previously focused on commerce. He also flagged that amidst the hype surrounding AI, 2024 will be crucial in demonstrating which AI startups have staying power.

Further supporting the influence of AI in e-commerce, Rebecca Liu-Doyle of Insight Partners mentioned the exciting possibilities presented by generative AI for personalised shopping experiences and task automation in areas like customer service.

Regarding more niche markets, Ben Zises, founder of SuperAngel.Fund, noted that e-commerce startups are focusing on increasingly specialized market demands and simplified retail businesses.

In closing, key indicators for investment include a strong founding team, a product that solves a significant market need, and potential for long-term growth.

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