A Few Current Trends in Silicon Valley

Wearable devices have been on the rise in Silicon Valley, with several new companies raising money in the past nine months. This is in part driven by the release of Google Glass to developers, which has already driven funding for start-ups based on Google glass apps. The exacted release of Apple’s iwatch in the next year or so has also help drive the interest in the space. Samsaung’s release last week of its iwatch marked the beginning of the mainstream commercialization of these products. The growth in popularity of fitness measurement devices is also feeding into this trend and it promises to change the profile of next generation of wearable devices. Expect to see more devices, both wrist-based and glass-based, that can augment the functions of a core mobile device. Momentum in Social Continues. Despite some reports to the contrary, there continue to be new start-ups in the social networking and communication space and a few companies are also able to gather significant funding. Photo sharing continues to dominate the new start-up area but video and communication tools are also very popular with entrepreneurs. It is unclear if many of these companies will have staying power as the consumer-value proposition in many cases is very slim, but for now, many are able to raise significant sums. Increasing Start-up momentum. With the proliferation of angels, super-angels, accelerators, and seed funds, it is becoming relatively easy to raise money and many start-up are getting funded with sub $500k, or sometimes sub $250k funding levels. The lean model of start-up as well as easy outsourcing of most services makes the operation go very fast. Platforms such as Kickstarter and Angellist have also played a major role in making capital easily available to entrepreneurs. At the same time, success of Silicon –Valley based companies, from Facebook to Pinterest and many others continues to maintain investor and consumer interest in tech companies here. While there may be few big hits like Facebook or even Instgram, there is likely to be several mid-level (sub $500 m in exit valuations) and highly popular platforms developed in the next few years.

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