10 May

Trendswatch | New Business Insight From The Past Week

We may be slowly coming out of lockdown, but the effects of the past year and a half are still very much with us – which can be seen in this week’s trends report.

This week’s TrendsWatch focuses on post-lockdown travel, food-delivery challengers and gaming integrations.

Post-lockdown travel

We’re all dreaming of a summer holiday, and it looks like we all might just be able to get one in the next couple of months. A brand that is jumping on the back of this is London-based fintech Fly Now Pay Later, which has been dubbed by UK Tech News ‘the Klarna of travel.’

Recently, the London-based company has raised a further £10 million in Series A funding, bringing its total to £45 million. The UK company is aiming to create over $1B of enterprise value within the next 18 months, driven by the success of its direct-to-consumer app, checkout integrated solution and the rapidly expanding Buy Now Pay Later sector. So, best get buying those swimsuits because holidays may be coming sooner than we thought!

Food-delivery challengers

2020 was the year of food delivery, and this looks set continue well in 2021 with the arrival of some new fresh challenger brands. Watch out Deliveroo!

The heads of the world’s largest food delivery groups are closely watching the fundraising of a new generation of instant grocery delivery apps – after investors have poured $14bn into the emerging sector. The new apps, which include GoPuff, Gorillas, Weezy and Dija among many others, are said to be complicating efforts by Delivery Hero, Deliveroo and Uber to branch out into grocery deliveries.

Venture capitalists have taken a particular interest in apps that promise to deliver groceries in as little as 10 minutes – thanks to a new network of “dark stores” across urban centres in London, Berlin and beyond.

Gaming integrations

Microsoft has announced a series of upgrades to its collaboration platform, Teams, that have been designed to improve the online learning experience for pupils and teachers alike.

Although the company will make a number of important changes, one feature in particular will likely draw the attention of students: an expansion of Minecraft: Education Edition, which will now “integrate seamlessly” with Teams.

According to Microsoft, the integration will allow teachers to embed quizzes, assessments and Flipgrid topics within Minecraft game sessions, although it’s unclear precisely what this might look like.

As part of the update, Microsoft will also introduce a new subscription package, called Minecraft, for Camps and Clubs, built for teachers operating outside the four walls of the classroom.

As we move into a post-lockdown phase, I’d keep an eye out for similar integrations as hybrid learning is most definitely here to stay.

Head back next week for further insights! 🙂