EV technology is hogging investment - Nick Freer

Healthcare is prominent in any narrative on tech trends as we approach two years of living with the pandemic. While tech companies have leaned in to support the fight against Covid, healthcare companies have increasingly turned to technology to deliver products and services and significant levels of investment have followed.

Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic corporate communications agency the Freer Consultancy
Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic corporate communications agency the Freer Consultancy

In October, Edinburgh-headquartered Current Health secured the second largest European digital healthcare exit to date. Because of this success story, expect more international investors to train their eyes on Scottish health tech startups in 2022.

Overall, in 2021, more investment was made into our fast-growth companies than ever before, more than £700 million by some estimates. Crucially, we are also seeing more International investors back companies here.

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A few months on from COP26 in Glasgow and with greenhouse gas emissions spiking around the world as Covid restrictions are eased, PwC estimates that climate tech is coming off a year in which the sector’s startups received around seven times the investment that went into artificial intelligence (AI) startups.

COP26 Glasgow

Good news you would think, until you factor in that only 25 per cent of that total investment is going into companies who are developing 80 per cent of the technologies viewed as most impactful at addressing the climate emergency - sectors including solar and wind power, green hydrogen production, and food waste technology.

The lion’s share of investment is being pumped into transportation and mobility, with electric vehicles (EVs) and related technologies garnering most, in addition to hogging the headlines across global media outlets.TIME magazine named Elon Musk its Person of the Year for 2021, of whom the publisher says, “few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too.”

The companies Musk has founded - Tesla, Tesla Energy, SpaceX, Starling, Neuralink, Boring Co., and Starship - are streets ahead of the competition on electric cars, carbon-free electricity, space travel, building the internet in space, human-machine interfaces, underground travel, and achieving the goal of life on Mars.

Bitcoin became more of a household name when Tesla purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency at the beginning of last year. Although Bitcoin’s value dropped last week to $40,000 from an historic high of $69,000, analysts expect Tesla to make more from its Bitcoin holding than from selling cars in 2020.

There are influencers, and then there are influencers, and Musk’s tweeting regularly moves markets. As described by a Bloomberg reporter recently: “The way finance works now is that things are valuable not based on their cash flows but on their proximity to Elon Musk.”

On a more ‘need to know basis’, Musk engaged in a bit of toilet humour in November when informing his 66 million Twitter followers that at least half of his tweets are sent while he is sitting on his “porcelain throne”.

Less about tweeting from the toilet, and more about cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web 3.0 next week.

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Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic communications agency the Freer Consultancy

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