Consumer Internet is Fascinating

Date:   Wednesday , February 01, 2012

Deepak Kamra is a General Partner with Canaan Partners, a global venture capital firm that is an early investor in some of the worlds leading technology companies, including Acme Packet, CommerceOne, and DoubleClick as well as healthcare giants Cerexa, Dexcom and Peninsula Pharmaceuticals. The firm focuses primarily on technology and healthcare sectors, and has invested in more than 250 companies so far. Kamra has been with the firm for over 20 years now and currently sits on the boards of, technology-driven global companies such as ON24, and Zoosk.

There are several areas established and emerging that is displaying enormous growth potential. Internet, cloud, and enterprise, are such areas and as a result our firm invests a lot in these. In the internet landscape, consumer internet is continuing to fascinate me more and more. There are several trends emerging this space and I believe is going to grow exponentially in the near future.

One such emerging trend in the space is the big data analysis as applied to consumer applications, examples are Kabam, a social gaming company or Zoosk, a social dating company. This is an emerging model and is presenting a lot of space for start-ups. New collaborative e-commerce models have also grabbed my attention very well. Companies such as OpenSky, a shopping site curated by celebrities, and Gemvara, a custom jewelry shopping site, are both innovative and show great future prospects. New collaborative consumption models such as Lending Club, where people lend and borrow from each other, and OneFineStay, a home sharing service, also have gained my interest. I think these areas presently offer a lot of headroom for entrepreneurs and will be a really good target area for them.

Crowdsourcing the ability to harness users across the internet to get work done; Internet of Things Machine to machine transactions and data analysis; these are two areas that offer a lot of opportunity for innovation and are areas that suits start-up very well.

Entrepreneurs should never forget that a great product and an excellent user experience are critical to getting your company off the ground. Free is a good business model to start with to encourage fast growth, but from the beginning onwards you should design your strategy with monetization in mind, and a clear set of steps and a timeline to attain positive revenue.