The Global Transition to Voice, Acoustics and Imagery Brings with it Far-Reaching, Positive Impacts to Society
With voice replacing touchpads and keyboards, imagery driving innovation in healthcare, and acoustics/sensory leading the IoT revolution, a better world is just around the corner.
Throughout the course of humanity, voice, acoustics and imagery have played central roles in the human experience and evolution. From basic communication to the arts, and their early and rudimentary uses in business, industry and computing - these modalities now stand to transform the machine-human relationship, partnership and interface, otherwise known as Augmented AI.
We are now at a collective tipping point of all the advancements and progress over the past 3-4 decades, from the Internet, to Moore’s Law and computing speed/size of chips, to big data and massive advancements in machine learning and augmented AI (machines + humans partnership) over the past decade. In this issue, we look at the Azafran Thesis through the lens of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
Azafran’s investment focus supports at least 6 of the 17 SDGs including: #3 Good Health and Well-Being, #9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12 Responsible Consumption and Production, #13 Climate Action, as well as #15 Life on Land.
The next five years will see us move from the keypad, touchpad and legacy forms of data entry to the more natural human-machine user interface forms: voice, acoustics and imagery. In short, advances in voice, acoustics and imagery complete the circle alongside machines and technology that we have developed and evolved over the past decades.
Further, the coronavirus pandemic has created multiple short- and long-term shocks to our lives and the systems that surround us. One major learning is the fragility of our healthcare system and the incredible need to ramp up accessible, cost-effective, preventative solutions.
Our team sees this as a cornerstone business and societal impact opportunity. As products focused on the modalities of voice and imagery are now taking hold in the market and are predicted to be part of a $200B wave by 2025, which is 100% Azafran’s focus and thesis.
There are many lenses and variations of impact investing and both our GPs and team have a deep understanding and experience with the space both from companies we have started as well as investments. While Azafran does not specifically tout itself as a pure play impact VC, it is a fact that many of the companies have invested in or will invest in Fund II have a direct impact on society and the goals set out in the SDGs.
In these pages we highlight many examples of companies that are already bringing life-changing solutions to the market, from healthcare, to industry, climate and enterprise markets. Many of these companies are part of Azafran’s Fund I portfolio or under LOI in Azafran Fund II.
At the core of these impactful solutions we also celebrate the diversity of our Azafran Fund I & II portfolio founders, which is a core element of our Thesis and one more dimension of fulfilling both direct impact and helping achieve the SDGs. As we carry this wide lens across geography, gender, ethnicity and other elements, the future looks brighter through the founders we support and their respective missions to make an impact on humanity and the world.