Do you have a plan B? The “investment migration” trend

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Weissknight Corporate Finance

Topic

Residency & Citizenship by Investment

Market Overview

The investment migration market has grown from $ 2.9 billion in 2011 to $ 21.4 billion today.

  • The industry is set to double in size over three years.
  • Demand for Residency and Citizenship-by-Investment programs (RCBI) from international private clients is estimated to be growing by over 20% per year.

 

Before selecting an investment location, investors should consider the outcome of their investment (residency or citizenship), the type of investment required, processing times, any long-term commitments demanded by the program and any restrictions on dual nationality.

According to the 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey, interest in Residency and Citizenship-by-Investment has increased significantly since the start of the Covid pandemic.

 

Investment Migration Executive Survey 2020 - 2021

 

The pandemic has undoubtedly acted as a driver of growth, putting a spotlight on the many benefits of strategic residence and citizenship planning.

 

Overview of the Investment Migration Industry

 

Overview of the investment migration industry sector

 

At no other time in our history has humanity been as mobile as we are today.

  • According to the International Air Transportation Association, the number of airline passengers that have flown in 2019 was 4.5 billion passengers.
  • A typical person moves, on average, 12 times during their lifetime. Increasingly, these moves are occurring outside of one’s place of birth.
  • More than 250 million people now live and work outside the countries in which they were born.
  • There are now almost 47m dollar millionaires in the world:
    • Including over 18.6m Americans, 4.2m Chinese, 3m Japanese, 2.2m Brits and 2.1m Germans.
    • The wealthy are acquiring alternative residency and citizenship like never before – worldwide.

 

Number of millionaires by country

 

There are three main propositions in the RCBI marketplace:

 

Three Main Propositions in the RCBI Marketplace

 

Reasons for alternative Residency or Citizenship:

 

Main Drivers for Investment Migration

Impact of COVID-19 on this Sector

Who would have thought at the turn of 2020 that an invisible virus would become the story of the year, killing hundreds of thousands within six months and placing the global economy in a coma? Borders have proliferated within Europe to a degree unmatched even during the so-called refugee crisis. Two-thirds of the world’s fleet of airplanes have been grounded as passenger air traffic has fallen to rates last seen half a century ago.

When it comes to investment migration, the pandemic has underscored the critical differences between citizenship-by-investment and residency-by-investment, so often treated together, as well as the distinction between citizenship and mere passports. It also raises questions about how supply and demand will transform in this unusual market.

 

What does the pandemic mean for millionaire mobility through investment migration?

Microstates in the Caribbean will become ever more dependent on citizenship-by-investment (CBI) as a revenue source until such time as tourism, their economic mainstay, makes a comeback. Even economically more robust and more diversified economies, such as Malta, where CBI is a smaller proportion of government revenue, the allure will remain as other parts of the economy contract.

The supply side of the market will remain strong, if not expand. The crucial question is where? The most recent entrants in the market have been more sizeable states than its mini pioneers, with the UAE and Turkey now attracting investor citizens, and Egypt in the waiting room now that it has passed a law to facilitate investor naturalization.

 

The key issues that emerge concern what naturalization offers and how these rights are secured.

  • Traditionally, demand for citizenship-by-investment has turned on what the status secures outside the granting state, principally (a) in terms of visa-free mobility, but also (b) rights to residency and settlement in a country or block of countries (such as the EU), thereby providing an “insurance policy” and (c) access to business and education opportunities. Of these, COVID-19 has highlighted how fragile the mobility aspect can be. The current fence of travel bans is part of the reason. More significant are the quarantines, a far greater concern, for countries will continue to screen entrants for temperatures for much longer and require those with fevers or testing positive to self-isolate. A quick trip abroad is simply not worth the risk of losing weeks in confinement.
  • The “one percent” – in US terms, families with incomes above $420,000 – is an extraordinarily mobile set, especially at its upper end. But those without access to private jets are now revamping their globe-trotting lives.

 

Man in the city

 

People will think twice before queuing at an airport and hopping on a plane. Flights will be fewer and more costly. We all now know how much can be accomplished on Zoom and without jetlag or waiting. Even if holiday travel recovers, lockdowns have proven that much business travel is surprisingly expandable.

This is why we might see residency-by-investment (RBI) grow at the expense of citizenship-by-investment (CBI).

  • The 1% from the Global South is thinking about not where their next business meeting will be but where they might want to position themselves and their family for a more extended period: they want a “Plan B” insurance policy.
  • This typically means big, wealthy, English-speaking countries with a track record of foreign settlement, namely, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA are sure to attract new residents.

 

The long history of famous passive residency-by-investment programs in these regions makes them known quantities. But in recent years, Europe has emerged as a second desired area, ticking several boxes of interest as well, particularly given the privileges provided by the Schengen treaty.

  • The COVID-19 travel restrictions have shown that wealthy countries will allow their citizens and those holding resident status to enter.
  • As such, a residence card secured through investing in a business, real estate, or bonds is enough to get one across an otherwise closed border.
  • For those worried about being stuck, the so-called golden visa programs in places like Portugal, Spain, Greece and Ireland offer options for maintaining a toehold in a country where one might want to spend time when other travel opportunities are limited.

 

This does not signal an end to citizenship-by-investment. Indeed, citizenship will always confer more privileges than mere residency status alone, but mobility demands are likely to change, with the weight shifting from present mobility and border crossing ease to future mobility and a Plan B. The result will be an expansion of demand for RBI in wealthy and highly-sought countries.

  • COVID-19 supplies a test case for assessing the extent to which interest beyond a mere “golden passport” matters.
  • In watching developments, it will be essential to keep in mind the impact of market segmentation on both supply and demand. The Caribbean memberships that facilitate visa-free access to Europe may see a more considerable dip in numbers than those countries that grant a much greater bundle of rights as members of the EU or the Middle Eastern options that offer business and residence possibilities.
  • The decline in the desirability of mere visa-free access will explain part, but not all of the stories, as costs are important too. The less expensive Caribbean offerings attract a subset of the one percent that has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus: those with wealth in the low millions, generated through entrepreneurial activities. Indeed, COVID-19 has dealt a blow to their businesses, which they will be shoring up over the next few years.

 

Under such conditions, citizenship options and other secondary considerations fall by the wayside as expendables that can be cut during tough times. The super-wealthy one percent of the one percent – more likely to splash out millions for membership in an EU country – have taken less of a hit, and their interest in these programs have indeed risen since late 2020, particularly from the USA.

InsurTech & IOT in the automotive sector

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Weissknight Corporate Finance

Topic

Insurance and IOT in the automotive industry

Market Overview

The insurance industry is a major component of the economy by virtue of the number of premiums it collects, the scale of its investment and, more fundamentally, the essential social and economic role it plays by covering personal and business risks.

The global insurance market faces a truly unique moment in its history. The fundamental disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic equates to an opportunity for the industry to remake itself in line with new societal realities and market needs.

Maturing markets, tight capital, increasing risk and technologically sophisticated customers are just some of the pressures the insurance sector faces today. The global insurance industry is at a watershed moment. Insurance leaders have witnessed the growing impact of fintechs – financial technology startups – who invest in insurance technology (insurtechs).

 

Overview of the Global Insurance Sector

The insurance industry is divided into life and nonlife (or general insurance); the value of the market is shown in terms of gross premium incomes. The life insurance sector consists of mortality protection and annuity. The nonlife insurance sector consists of accident, health, property and casualty insurance segments.

 

World insurance premiums rose 3% in 2019, adjusted for inflation, to $5.1 trillion.

  • Nonlife premiums grew 3.5% in 2019, adjusted for inflation, slightly above the growth rate from 2009 to 2018.
  • Life insurance premiums grew 2.2% in 2019, faster than the 1.5% rise in 2009 to 2018, adjusted for inflation.

 

 

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed customer needs:

  • The year 2020 will forever be associated with the pandemic. The insurance industry experienced broad and deep impacts — financially, operationally, strategically — as COVID-19 brought the future forward, accelerating many trends that had been long underway. The effects will be felt for years to come.
  • However, surprising developments present opportunities. The dramatic spike in the interest of younger generations in life, health and other protection products is an encouraging demand signal. The demonstrated ability of insurers to move quickly and boldly in upgrading digital capabilities bodes well for the future. Insurers must work to ensure that customers better understand their products if they are to capitalize on the new demand.
  • Businesses must concurrently manage three crucial phases of the COVID-19 crisis—respond, recover, and thrive. When the pandemic emerged, insurers responded by taking immediate steps to ensure business continuity and help customers and their communities cope. As they head into 2021, insurers should consider a mix of offensive and defensive actions to accelerate longer-term recovery efforts and pivot to the thrive phase when growth is reemphasized, despite challenging economic conditions.

 

Tech and insurance industry – INSURTECH

After a long period of slow change, the insurance industry is finally following suit. Leading insurance businesses are starting to better connect risk with customers by partnering with or being inspired by dynamic new startups – insurtechs – across the insurance sector.

  • Insurtechs are typically technology-oriented startups that use innovative technical solutions to power new insurance business models. They take advantage of inefficiencies, substituting parts or all of the insurance value chain, and often get between traditional industry players and customers and their risks.
  • Insurtechs are also actively engaged in innovating traditional insurance business models.

 

The global insurtech market size was valued at $ 2.7 billion in 2020.

  • It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.8% from 2021 to 2028.
  • That means a market worth $ 3.6 billion by 2021 and more than 61 billion by 2028.

 

Insurtechs and the venture capitalists who fund them are looking to accelerate a shift of the industry away from traditional insurance products toward personal risk management, micro products and insurance-as-a-service. Individuals can employ these to manage their own risk rather than pay whole premiums for insurance companies to care for them.

 

Europe insurtech market share 2020

 

 

The increasing need for digitization of insurance services is expected to propel market growth. Simplification of the claims processes is anticipated to drive the change. Insurance companies are focusing on improving communication with their clients and capabilities to implement automation processes. They are also focusing on using these solutions as they use technology innovations mainly designed to enhance the efficiency of the existing insurance industry model. These solutions are helping businesses discover avenues that large insurance companies have less incentive to achieve, such as offering social insurance and ultra-customized policies. These solutions use new streams of information from the internet-enabled devices to price premiums according to observed behaviour.

 

Insurtech is the usage of innovations particularly designed to make the existing insurance model more efficient. By using technologies such as AI and data analytics, insurtech solutions allow products to be priced more competitively. Insurance companies are widely adopting these solutions to drive cheaper, better, and faster operational results. Hence, the insurance industry is witnessing increased investment in technology.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is anticipated to have a positive impact on the market. Numerous insurance companies are reconsidering their long-term strategies and short-term needs. The COVID-19 and its consequences are accelerating the implementation of online platforms and new mobile applications to meet consumer needs.

 

Overview of the Automotive Insurance Sector

As per the report published by Allied Market Research, the global auto insurance market generated $740 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to hit $1.1 trillion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 8.5% from 2020 to 2027.

Ø  The rise in the number of accidents, implementation of stringent government regulation for the adoption of auto insurance, and surge in automobile sales across the globe drive the growth of the global auto insurance market.

Ø  Auto insurance is a contract between the insurance company and vehicle owners that protects them against financial loss in the event of vehicle theft or accident. The insurance company agrees to pay the covered amount of the losses in exchange for paying a premium.

 

Increasing awareness among end-users, introducing innovative technologies and products, and the availability of third-party insurance providers are to deploy substantial traction for the automotive insurance industry over the forecast period. Automotive insurance companies work with software providers to offer big data-based solutions to satisfy the end user’s concerns and untapped market demand during a car-related transaction.

Furthermore, digital technologies and mobile internet are transforming the vehicle industry and the vehicle/automotive insurance industry. The automotive industry is undoubtedly undergoing significant changes that will help increase asset utilization, change vehicle ownership models, and improve vehicle safety, which will eventually impact the global automotive insurance market. Additionally, autonomous technology has made cars increasingly safer, which is expected to reduce vehicle accidents significantly during the forecast period. Moreover, a rise in on-demand transportation and the shifting of liability to manufacturers are some of the factors that are expected to hinder the growth of global automotive insurance during the forecast period.

 

InsurTech on Mobile Phone

Key Drivers of Automotive Insurance Market

  • Automotive safety has become a significant concern amidst a consistent rise in the number of accidents across the globe due to the high number of on-road vehicles, unsafe driving patterns, underdeveloped infrastructure, and numerous other such factors. In February 2020, according to the World Health Organization, 1.35 million people died every year across the globe, costing a majority of countries around 3% of their total GDP. This economic burden, caused by the growing number of accidents, severely impacts low-income individuals and nations. Consequently, vehicle owners prefer insurance policies to mitigate this financial burden of road accidents, covering health-related and vehicle repair costs post-accident. Thus, a rise in awareness about road traffic accidents and their economic costs drives the global automotive insurance market.
  • The emergence of the latest technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, has transformed conventional auto insurance policies into usage-based policies. Sensors powered by these advanced technologies are fitted on vehicles to monitor the driving behaviour and pattern of the driver. This data is sent to the insurance company, and based on this data, the premium of insurance is modified. These new telematics-based insurance policies are gaining high popularity, hence fuelling the automotive insurance market across the globe.

 

 

Insurtech in the automotive sector:

  • Aside from health and life coverage, there can be few areas more appropriate for insurtech to assert a benevolent – and mutually beneficial – influence on the behaviour of policyholders than in the area of auto coverage.
  • Telematics offers much more than access to coverage for high-risk groups above and below a certain age. It can reward all policyholders with lower premiums if they are prepared to reduce risk by adjusting their behaviour behind the wheel.
  • As these systems are developed, telematics will likely have an increasing role to play within underwriting and pricing. The nature of insurance is changing globally, as individuals tend to lease or rent cars and are offered a whole of life service. This is expected to include auto coverage automatically as manufacturers operate like a distribution platform.

 

Connected devices are becoming a prominent part of our daily lives, and many businesses are trying to figure out how they can exploit this trend to create a deeper relationship with their customers. Motor insurers are not immune to the changes that are happening, primarily as they operate in an increasingly competitive market.

  • Deloitte has recently conducted a detailed analysis and report, which estimates that in Western Europe, the market share for digitally-enabled motor insurance by 2020 could exceed 15 billion Euros. From this study, they concluded that the “big-switch” is coming; digitally-enabled motor insurance is a crucial differentiator in a frequently commoditized market.
  • Historically, the target of insurers for their telematics product has been young drivers paying high premiums. However, these customers are not the only group who may be interested in digitally-enabled motor insurance.
  • The influence of data privacy on purchasing decisions by customers is quite significant but varies across Europe. Interestingly, customers appear to be much more comfortable sharing driving data than social media data. This suggests that at present, it may be difficult for insurance companies to collect and use social media data, despite its potential for creating new contact points with existing customers. Unsurprisingly, price is the most significant driver of customer’s purchase decisions.

 

 

Through the launch of value-added services linked to digitally-enabled motor insurance products, insurers finally have the opportunity to differentiate their products and engage their customers in new ways, thereby helping to change their perceptions of insurance products and providers.

There are clear signs that customers across Europe would value a telematics offering!

 

 

The “Connect Insurance” Channel opportunity

The COVID crisis has started changing the automotive insurance industry:

  • 81% of drivers in the UK have changed how much they drive because of COVID-19. Across Europe, the pandemic has also modified the reasons why people move, their driving patterns, and the nature of the pool of drivers on the road. The riskier drivers are now disproportionally driving more; a quarter of them are young drivers.
  • As a result, previous models are not representative of commuters’ risk during the succession of lockdowns. Without individual driver data, insurers’ traditional risk proxies are no longer predictive and may not return to the utility.
  • The COVID pandemic is pushing people towards transacting via online channels, which is now the prime transaction method for up to 63% of the drivers.
  • The appetite for connected insurance models has increased sharply since the pandemic started in Europe, with 65% of the population now likely to make the switch. In January 2020, “only” 49% of European drivers suggested it be possible to try usage-based insurance.
  • In terms of the value proposition and pricing models, the survey demonstrates a considerable shift away from “old school” discount-based telematics (-58%) to Pay-As-You-Drive (+145%) models.
  • The appetite for Value Added Services has also progressed, with safety-related options such as rewards for safe driving and emergency roadside assistance at the top of drivers’ wish lists. Claims assistance using automatically generated reports was a close second.

 

Consumers’ interest in telematics is at an all-time high – and growing. The COVID crisis brought home the benefits of telematics to many drivers. Since then, a flurry of positive articles has reinforced that telematics is the best way to save money on insurance.

 

Active Telematics-based insurance policies 2019 

 

Insurance survey around IOT and Tech

 

The market and consumers are becoming more and more mature and ready to switch!

 

  • The original idea behind using telematics data in the insurance sector was to monitor a vehicle’s usage to price insurance based on the policyholder’s driving behaviour. Today, it allows insurance companies to reward those who opt into safe driving or distance-based programmes based on risky behaviours, scoring, and GPS monitoring.
  • As technology evolves, it allows for new, more robust business models. This has been particularly noticeable since smartphone-centric insurance has introduced a brand new direct and constant communication channel between the insurer and the insured.
  • Together with frequency and richness of interaction, connected insurance brings another benefit. By selecting the risks, influencing driving behaviour, and using the crash data efficiently during the claims handlings process, carriers are able to accelerate the claims management and benefit from increased efficiencies.

 

Connected insurance provides the drivers with the flexibility they now need since they drive less or differently. At the same time, it provides insurers with the information required to price risk appropriately.

Electric Vehicle Revolution and the City Car Opportunity

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Weissknight Corporate Finance

Topic

Electric Vehicles

Market Overview

The automobile has long been regarded as one of the most important innovations in history, significantly changing people’s lifestyles, quality of life, and productivity. At the same time, the freedom to move, social status, and the fun of driving have fostered an automotive culture, making the automobile a particular consumer product rather than a simple transportation tool.

Transport is critical for the economy. It creates growth opportunities, generates jobs, facilitates trade and realises economies of scale. Mobility is central to the whole of society. It allows people to connect with places and shapes how we live our lives. In the last twenty years, social changes have significantly altered how and why we use the transport system; shifts will likely be even more notable over the next twenty years.

 

Changes such as the growing, ageing population will meet technological advances in electric power, digitalisation and automation. These technologies will bring opportunities, offer fresh innovation to existing needs, and radical new approaches. However, they will also bring challenges. Realising the full potential of technology requires us to consider how users’ travel behaviour will respond to it and how all of society and our economy can benefit. To be truly transformational, we need to view transport as a system: to consider it as a whole. The future of transport needs to balance a wide range of considerations. Capacity has a role to play, but it must be linked to making travel more sustainable overall, be this through lower emissions, less travel or better relating our journeys to housing and work.

The global automobile industry is on the brink of a vital transformation. Technology is driving this shift, shaped by demographic, regulatory and environmental pressures.

 

Woman Chargin Her EV

 

Overview of the Electrical Vehicles (EV) Sector

Before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the automotive industry – along with every other industry – electric vehicles were moving steadily into the spotlight.

The combined annual sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles tipped over the two-million-vehicle mark for the first time in 2019. EVs staked their claim on a 2.5% share of all new car sales last year.

 

In terms of volumes and trends:

  • Total EV sales are growing from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million in 2025, then reaching 31.1 million by 2030.
    • EVs would secure approximately 32% of the total market share for new car sales.
  • Europe has now passed China to lead the world in EV sales, with 1.4 million EVs sold in 2020 representing a 137% increase from the previous year.
  • It is also leading the world in the pace of EV adoption, hosting 9 out of the top 10 EV markets by penetration rate led by countries in the Nordic region.
  • It is projected that annual European EV sales will reach 8 million by 2030.
  • Experts expect that by 2030 China will hold 49% of the global EV market, Europe will account for 27%, and the United States will hold 14%.
    • The share of new car sales taken up by EVs will vary considerably across markets.
    • China should achieve a domestic market share of around 48% by 2030.

 

Annual Global Passenger Car and Vehicle sales to 2030

 

EV market share by major region

 

In terms of value and trends:

  • The global electric vehicle market was valued at $ 162 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $ 803 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 22.6%.
    • Asia-Pacific was the highest revenue contributor, accounting for $ 85 billion in 2019, and is estimated to reach $ 358 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 20.1%. North America is estimated to reach $ 194 billion by 2027, at a significant CAGR of 27.5%.
    • Asia-Pacific and Europe collectively accounted for around 74.8% share in 2019, with the former constituting approximately 52.3% share.
    • North America and Europe are expected to witness considerable CAGRs of 27.5% and 25.3%, respectively, during the forecast period. The cumulative share of these two segments was 40.1% in 2019 and is anticipated to reach 51.0% by 2027.

 

What is behind and driving this massive growth market:

 

  • Consumer sentiment:

Consumer demand will fuel the growth of EVs. As the barriers to adoption are rapidly removed, EVs are increasingly becoming a realistic and viable option.

From 2018 to 2020, there were some noticeable changes in consumer attitudes toward EVs. Concerns over the cost/price premium have diminished in every country. Driving range has remained the number one concern in Germany and became number one in France, but there are now fewer consumers citing it as a concern in those two markets. Elsewhere, the lack of charging infrastructure has become the top priority for consumers, reflecting the possibility that they are starting to see EVs as a realistic option and are considering the practicalities of ownership.

Over the next few years, experts expect some barriers to be completely removed. EVs’ driving range is already comparable to that of ICE vehicles; price has already reached parity if you consider subsidies in various markets and total cost of ownership, and the number of models available is increasing.

 

  • Policy and regulation:

Government intervention continues to play an essential role in driving EV sales, as shown by the successes in Norway, fluctuating sales in the Netherlands and changing fortunes of the Chinese EV market.

Not only are there economic benefits for states that support a transition to electricity, but the positive environmental impact has made the widespread adoption of EVs a necessary step toward achieving climate-change goals, such as those of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Several policies and regulations are helping encourage the growth of EV adoption.

 

  • OEM strategy:

In the past year, some prominent OEMs have announced strategic commitments to EVs. New models have been announced, production targets increased, and sales targets moved forward and multiplied. The impact of the investment and targets will represent a seismic market shift over the next decade regarding the availability and affordability of models.

According to statistics cited by the European Federation for Transport and Environment, Europe should expect 33 new models in 2020, 22 in 2021, 30 in 2022 and 33 in 2023. This means that EV models available in the EU will surpass 100 in 2022 and reach 172 in 2025. In the United States, IHS Markit predicts 130 available models by 2026, offered by 43 brands.

 

The top 29 OEMs already plan to invest more than $ 300 billion over the next 10 years to develop capacity production further, and all of them make the claim they can do so profitably. Assuming that global weaning from fossil fuels continues, automobiles will contribute fewer greenhouse gases on a “well-to-wheel” basis over time.

Achieving price parity with, or even savings over, ICE vehicles will play a big role in speeding up EV adoption, especially as model ranges and marketing priorities adapt to manufacturer emission targets. Even with more OEMs offering affordable EV models, consumers are still unwilling to pay a premium for an EV instead of its ICE equivalent. However, experts expect the existing price premium associated with EVs to be consigned to history sooner rather than later.

 

  • Role of corporate companies:

Experts see an increasingly important role for corporates to support EVs’ transition, using the three factors highlighted above to their advantage.

Sales of new cars to businesses represent a significant proportion of all vehicles sold.

 

Overview of the Technology associated with the EV Sector

Compared to internal combustion engines vehicles, EV have a significant advantage – battery technology developments are faster than those of the engine technology on gasoline-petrol based cars.

In addition, the trend of packing electronics in today’s automobiles shows that innovations in electronics will outpace other innovations. The amount of electronics in an EV is high compared to conventional vehicles. It offers opportunities for more innovations. The electric car of the future will be a proper computer on wheels and will change the automobile‘s character.

As an example:

 

Software in Cars

 

The major shift within the automotive industry due to the growing part of EV is, therefore, the technology and innovations embedded into the vehicles.

With software and other technologies taking the lead, it’s no surprise that consumer tech companies are entering the automotive world. While a car may not be a mobile phone, these businesses’ focus on design, ease of use, automated assistance and battery life will bring new kinds of innovation to the field. One catalyst for tech innovators to move into the automotive industry now: electric vehicles have just 1/3 of conventional vehicles’ parts, lowering the barriers to entry.

The Internet of things has demonstrated how connecting everyday devices to a network could transform what we can do with them. According to several Tech specialists and automotive experts, the Internet of cars will do the same. Connected vehicles, communicating with each other and with the larger world, will not only reduce accidents and ease traffic, but they will also have powerful effects beyond the auto industry. Insurers, for example, will have new ways to monitor driver behaviour, reward good drivers and distribute costs to bad ones. And ride-sharing companies can better connect idle cars with the customers that need them.

Ridesharing may be a mixed blessing for the auto industry. The majority of vehicles worldwide are used only to commute or for short trips during the day, leaving them idle 95% of the time. Connected cars—especially self-driving ones—could also change the way people use their drive time.

 

 

The “City Car” segment opportunity

There is a clear market window for low cost, electric city cars in Europe.

Improvements in battery technology have resulted in small and light electric vehicles (LEVs) appearing on the market in Europe since 2015. However, their market share is still comparatively small due to their excessive price.

Cities today face problems resulting from increased mobility needs, which are often still tied to private car ownership and auto-centric transport infrastructures that have grown historically.

  • This situation is compounded by urbanisation and population growth in many cities.
  • Therefore, cities struggle with bad air quality, high noise emissions, a lack of space, and structures with low attractiveness for public spaces.
  • The European Commission estimates urban mobility to be responsible for 40% of all European road transport CO2 emissions, which shows the importance of sustainable urban transport for climate protection.

 

A key element in urban mobility planning for many cities today is promoting ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable mobility options. Light electric vehicles (LEVs) are becoming an extensive element in sustainable mobility concepts within urban and rural areas.

  • LEVs require less energy and resources for production and operation than cars and occupy less space in stationary and flowing traffic. While LEVs have already reached a considerable market share in Asia, LEV sales in Europe are still meagre.

 

City cars have historically been the low cost, entry-level vehicles in Europe, representing a consistent 8.5% of annual car sales on average (1.2 million vehicles per year).

  • This segment has been dominated by OEMs such as Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen, with European brands holding 73.2% of the city car market followed by Japanese (13.2%) and Korean (11.3%) brands.

New European emission standards have made this an unprofitable segment for most European OEMs, leading them to shift their A-segment vehicles to electric or discontinuing these models altogether.

  • Some OEMs have also discontinued electric versions of their models, like the Volkswagen e-Up and the Skoda Citigo e iV, to focus on larger, more profitable vehicle segments.
  • To sum-it-up, Lower cost EVs with premium styling and a quality digital experience in the A-segment are not readily available in Western markets.

 

Electric Car on the road

 

On top, very important to realise that European car buyers have a strong preference for vehicle brands with a European country of origin.

Due to the higher prices of electric vehicles, early adopters of EVs have skewed affluent, with 60% of buyers having an average household income of over € 100,000 per year.

 

Only 13% of prospective car buyers in Europe are willing to pay more than € 2,000 more for an electric car vs a comparable petrol model.

  • This makes the current electric city car segment priced out of reach for many of their target buyers, even when factoring in government cash incentives.
  • For younger, more cost-conscious city car buyers, higher prices in the market will lead them to either forgo a new car purchase or shift to car-sharing or ride-hailing to meet their mobility needs.

 

 

Conclusion:

We live in a time of unprecedented change in the transport system. Changes in the nature of working and shopping, new technologies and behaviours – such as automation, vehicle electrification and the sharing economy – are already having an impact on how the system functions, while the intersection of the physical and digital realms is changing how transport is planned and used. These developments bring exciting possibilities which, if grasped, will bring significant social benefits.

The challenge facing cities throughout Europe concerning climate change, air and noise emissions are substantial.

Electro-mobility and small electric vehicles provide a significant opportunity to address the negative externalities associated with the internal combustion engine without constraining the vital role that vehicles play.

Transformation and digitalisation of the event industry

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Weissknight Corporate Finance

Topic

The event industry

Just like society, the event industry is always on the move, and event industry trends always reflect this. It has been proliferating.

The global events industry size was valued at $1,100 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.3% to reach $2,330 billion by 2026 (Allied Market Research, 2019).

 

Overview of the Event Sector

Events can mean anything from a large music festival to dinner with just a few people. In this context, we focus on the business event industry where the attendees are participating in their professional roles. Business events also include all types of inter-organizational conferences or internal gatherings within the public sector sphere that are not per se business-related but has the same characteristics that the attendees meet in their professional capacity.

Within this space, there is a number of different types of events that vary in their purposes, objectives and stakeholders – as well as in length, size and format.

 

  • Business event types include (among other) larger organizational internal meetings, conferences, conference trips, customer events, exhibitions and trade shows.
  • Internal meetings in this context consist of kickoffs, conference/incentive travel, leadership summits, training sessions, internal roadshows, sales conferences, planning conferences, change management events and other types of gathering within an organization. The purpose is often to team build, share knowledge, spread a message or implement a cultural/organizational change, plan for the coming year or similar. Internal events are also a key component in building employer branding.
  • Customer events are “produced by and for business, with a primary purpose of supporting business growth”. Business relations are a crucial focus on corporate events. During the last two decades, there is significant growth in B2B planned events sector. The reasons for it are increasing corporate visibility, driving sales, and building relationships between a company and its customers/partners. Large companies consider corporate events among core activities and hire internal event managers or outsource to professional event agencies.
  • Conferences are assemblies for the purpose of conferring and discussion and should be small enough to facilitate interaction. They are often a mix of the typical plenary session and smaller breakout sessions. The main objectives of the conference include discussion, problem-solving, fact-finding and many others. Meetings vary in size, length, and content, but in most, they focus on a specific topic discussed by key speakers on the plenary session, panel discussions, and different workshops and smaller lectures.
  • Exhibitions and trade shows form a significant part of business events. They can be described as events that bring together buyers and sellers in a particular industry. They include agricultural shows, consumer shows, specialized trade shows and exhibitions and private exhibitions.

 

Event Management Overview

 

Structure of the corporate events’ industry:

Likewise, in other industries, the conference industry consists of buyers and suppliers. The buyers are usually event managers and organizers, who are ‘buying’ venues, technical support and other services to conduct a conference.

  • They might have their internal department for conference management activities, or they are outsourcing conference organizing. Most of the companies do not have a department responsible for conference organizing. Moreover, during economic downturns, such departments are closing first to save the budget.
  • Additionally, besides the buyers and suppliers, there are hundreds of agencies and intermediaries. They can be characterized as both suppliers and buyers. They are buyers as they are working for companies or associations, and they are intermediaries between the client and suppliers.

 

Events are, by definition, occurrences where a number of people gather at a particular time and place. However, this does not mean that event organizing is a singular happening, organized ad hoc as a one-time occurrence. Organizing events is one of the critical ongoing responsibilities for a marketing department and often represent one of the largest budget areas in the marketing budget. Also, the Human Relations department often spend time, money and energy on organizing internal events and employee development throughout the year in order to build culture and team.

 

Among different methods of communication, events are the most powerful ones.

  • This happens because people are tending to remember emotions more than knowledge.
  • They might forget the concrete numbers and specific information, but they will remember how the event made them feel, especially if they get to be involved and active in the dialogue.
  • Event methodology has, over time, evolved and matured to increase the ROI of the events. Instead of aiming for a “firework” – something that creates a powerful but short-lasting impact on attendees, more and more event organizers are looking to structure the event so that they reach their objectives of the event long term.

 

Most business events have an objective oriented around that attendees should feel, do or learn something. To achieve that goal, it is of high importance both that the aim is clearly stated, that the methodology, dramaturgy, agenda and topics are tailored towards that objective – as well as making sure to involve and engage the attendees. Put in other words: The important thing is not to get the message out to the audience but that it actually stays in the attendees’ heads.

 

Event Engagement through technology

Event Technology Market – an Overview

As in all other aspects of our life, mobile technology, and instant access to information through the internet dramatically impact the event market. Event technology is since many years an essential integral part of almost all events.

There is significant overlap among products where several niche functions can be included in an EMS or an event app.

 

Before the event

  • Registration software collects attendee data, processes payments and distributes confirmations and tickets.
  • Event management software (EMS) automates the planning of events. It places tasks, timelines, resources, vendors, partners, design, content, communication, collaboration, budgets, reports and evaluations into an automated and interconnected workflow.
  • Venue sourcing is software built to send out an automated electronic request for proposals (eRFP), an inventory of hotel properties and matchmaking capabilities.
  • Speaker sourcing – Speaker sourcing websites are part directory (listing and categorizing speakers) and part matchmaking solution.
  • Digital Marketing – Event organizers and marketers rely heavily on digital marketing software to reach attendees, exhibitors and sponsors via email and social media.

 

 

During the event

  • Mobile Event apps are generally applications that can be installed or accessed through mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) for the purpose of giving attendees access to a number of standard features. Many of the features described below can be included in an event app.
  • Audience participation/engagement: The interaction between presenters and audience members has changed dramatically in recent years. Software downloaded onto organizer-provided or personal mobile devices makes it easier for attendees to follow along and play a role in the presentation.
  • Gamification is an engagement strategy that serves to educate attendees, reach qualified prospects, deliver a more immersive attendee experience, generate leads, increase booth traffic and produce user-generated social media content. While technology isn’t required to gamify an event, it facilitates play and enhances data collection.
  • Lead management: One of the most important reasons to host or exhibit in an event is to identify customers and capture new business leads. Lead management technology was designed to address the pain points associated with this activity.
  • Networking tools are software solutions built to drive networking, matchmaking and encourage contacts between attendees.
  • Real-time data and analytics: solutions that track attendee behaviour and relay findings to the cloud in real-time can assist planners.

 

After the event

  • Post-event surveys: One of the essential requirements of business-to-business events is the ability to evaluate the attendee experience and follow up with prospects.
  • Post Event data and analytics: Direct feedback is only one way to understand the attendee experience. Another way is to leverage behavioural tools that derive data from a wide variety of sources.
  • Post-event digital communities: Creating virtual ‘water coolers,’ where event participants can seek advice, discuss relevant topics, and engage with an online community, is one of the most effective ways to keep the conversation going after the event and year-round.

 

Trends before March 2020:

These are some of the trends observed prior to the covid crisis:

  • Consolidation in the event tech space has been a strong trend during 2019 and the beginning of 2020. “Organic growth is also on the horizon for local players. There is still a big opportunity for growth in non-English speaking markets. Strong players in these markets are strong candidates for funding or future acquisitions.”
  • More investment in even tech is expected – Event professionals are investing more in event technology in 2019/2020.
  • All-in-one is booming. While 45% of planners use both all-in-one and vertical solutions, the percentage of those using all-in-one solutions has grown by 27% year-over-year. In 2018, only 9% used all-in-one tools; now, over 36% prefer them over multiple solutions.
  • Cost is still a major source of frustration. 25% of event professionals say cost is the most frustrating thing about event technology.
  • Event professionals prefer operational efficiency to shiny new objects. The focus is now on securing a good ROI through operational efficiency, with costs being the dominant factor, followed by integration and available support.
  • 59% of event professionals are tech-confident or tech-savvy. Event planners are embracing event technology more and more; the days of the technology-unfriendly planner are gone. This is an excellent outlook for the industry. Very few planners seem to resist tech anymore.

 

Engagement is one of the crucial aspects for event planners and one of the most important things to consider as it is a key to successful events.

  • People are no longer want to “just sit and listen”. They want to act, want to try, and expect completely different methods and tools for getting knowledge. One of such spectrums is mobile technologies.
  • Conference organizers cannot afford to ignore or, even worse, fight the use of technology at their events. They must use event technology to their advantage to create events and sessions that are more interactive and engaging.

 

Technological trends are modifying the whole events industry from different angles.

  • Keeping track of new features and implementing those technologies is one of the critical concerns in the event management profession.
  • Such technologies enable conferences to remain competitive, maximize revenues, create better communication between the audience and speakers, and engage people.

 

Overall, event app adoption rates are very high nowadays, with nearly 40% of app developers stating an adoption rate of over 80%. Another 35% of developers are claiming an adoption rate of 60% to 80%. This is a fundamental metric in the industry, as apps are the results of time and money investment. High adoption rates suggest that the app works out for many clients.

 

Conclusion:

Event Technologies are developing quickly and playing a pivotal role in the Event Management processes.

  • New software is evolving, and event organizers are more and more positive about implementing them. The market for event technology is expected to grow faster than the overall event market.
  • End-to-end solutions with a high emphasis on attendee engagement are at the centre of this development, with buyers who prioritize reliability and cost-effectiveness.

 

Trade, Fair, big event

The COVID19 short-term impact and opportunity

Events and, consequently, the event industry was obviously very hard hit by the covid crisis. No in-person events could be done, planned events were cancelled, and the whole industry was initially turned upside down.

Reed Exhibitions released recently its first’ COVID-19 and how it’s changing the Event industry’. Among its key findings, the Reed Exhibitions COVID-19 barometer reveals that:

  • COVID-19 is accelerating changes in consumer behaviour. 84% of visitors and exhibitors have tried at least one new digital service since lockdown.
  • Acceptance of digital tools is increasing over time.
  • Consumer willingness to adopt digital is reflected in attitudes towards online events. The number of visitors who say they would like to carry out one or more event activities digitally whilst they are unable or unwilling to attend in person is significant and has increased consistently, from 91% in June to 94% in September.
  • Visitor agreement with all positive statements around digital is increasing. 59% of visitors now say they would be likely to sign up to attend an online trade event, up from 57% in June. The percentage who believe that they can still carry out most of their event objectives online also increases, up from 52% to 57%.
  • Engagement with digital activities increases with familiarity and exposure. For example, participants in travel events, which have a long tradition of using online meeting tools to arrange physical meetings, are much more comfortable with the idea of using live meeting software in a digital environment.
  • COVID-19 has not diminished the value of in-person events for participants committed to returning as soon as restrictions are lifted. Throughout the period of the tracking survey, the importance of events has remained consistent for both exhibitors and visitors.
  • While exhibitors remain sure, they will spend less while the pandemic continues to unfold, and before there is a vaccine, around two-thirds of exhibitors expect to return to normal levels (or invest more) once a vaccine is deployed.
  • Customers are increasingly open to the idea of engaging with digital alongside in-person events as they return. 65% of visitors and 57% of exhibitors believe digital will continue to work for events after COVID-19.

 

Another study (EventMB’s State of the Event Industry, Dec 2020) shows that In terms of hybrid events, almost three-quarters of planners (71%) plan to continue to employ a digital strategy to maintain their virtual audience once they return to physical events.

In summary, most analysts foresee that:

  • Virtual events are here to stay since so many people have gotten used to them, and it has been proven that for some types of events, the virtual format is comparable or even better than in person.
  • During a transition period, hybrid events are expected to be the norm, but even after that stage, it is most likely that attendees expect to be able to take part in a digital format from anywhere and not be required to attend in person – at least not for the whole duration of the event.
  • People want to meet, and in-person events will surely have a significant upswing again, and these will live together with the virtual events.

 

The conclusion is that the trends before the crisis (more investments in event tech but with cost-conscious buyers) combined with the urgent need to cater towards the new post-pandemic market will create a strong force towards providing all-in-one solutions that can meet the needs of all types of event formats to an attractive price point.

  • This means that players that were strong in the in-person space not only will have to continue their journey towards the virtual space – they also need to make sure to do this in a flexible and unified way so that an end-user and an organizer seamlessly can shift between the different formats (Virtual, Hybrid, Hub and In-Person) and devices used to consume the services.

 

In the same way, it means that the pandemic’s superstars, the online event platforms such as Hopin and On24 that have seen massive booms, will need to move towards in-person and hybrid events to meet the same need.

Consolidation remains a macro trend in event technology that will continue in 2022. With many small businesses incapable of weathering the coronavirus storm, it is widely anticipated that this trend will grow even stronger in 2022.

RegTech Funding 2020+2021

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Topic

Funding Trends – RegTech Market

RegTech has continued to grow in popularity over the years, leading to more and more companies investing in this area. According to different studies, the RegTech market is expected to grow to over $12.3 billion by 2023. However, this article focuses on RegTech investment 2021 and RegTech funding 2020 + 2021.

 

RegTech funding reached a five-quarter high in the second quarter of 2021, with half of the total transactions exceeding $25 million.

In the first three quarters of 2020, RegTech investments were down but still higher than in 2019, but experienced an upswing in the final quarter of the year, recording a 39% increase in total deals.

Compared to the third quarter of 2020, the total amount of RegTech funding in 2021 increased by USD 1.9 billion. Around USD 4.3 billion was raised in 100 deals in the first quarter of 2021 and USD 4.9 billion in 122 deals in the second quarter.

 

Around 45% of their deals were $25 million or more in the first half of the financial year.

These figures suggest that their investors were more willing to write bigger cheques after the pandemic. In the first half of 2021, the percentage of deals of $50 million and above was 27.7%, which is the highest percentage for deals of this size.

This is mainly due to the trend towards maturity in the RegTech industry. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, which have driven innovation in the industry, are reinforcing the upward trend, contributing to the maturity of the RegTech industry as a whole.

Compared to 2020, deals worth $25 million to $50 million have doubled. In the first half of the year, 45% of all deals were $25 million or more.

 

Funding Growth

 

Eight of the ten largest RegTech transactions globally in the first half of 2021 were from North American companies.

North America is currently the dominant RegTech funding region, with eight out of ten deals completed in the first half of 2021.

This accounts for 65% of all deals in the first half of the year. After North America, Europe accounted for 23% of deals completed in the same period.

Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to the financial industry. For this reason, five of the top ten RegTech companies in the first half of 2021 were active in the cybersecurity subsector.

In the first half of 2021, for example, Transmit Security, a Boston-based company, and Synk were part of media-effective deals.

 

In the first half of 2021, New York was the city with the most RegTech deals.

In a breakdown of the top cities that showed increased RegTech activity, New York was number one, closely followed by London and San Francisco. Of the 174 RegTech deals, New York accounted for 24, London 22 and San Francisco 21.

The growth in RegTech investment 2020+2021 and RegTech funding 2021 clearly show that the industry continues to be on an upward trend and is gaining increased relevance globally.

An investigation into the influence of promotional instruments and framework conditions on the founding and success of start-ups

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Federal reports

Postulate / Motion National Council

Canton Zug

Topic

Startups Switzerland | Zug

The thematic focus of this research work is directed at the framework conditions and funding instruments of a location, which can have an influence on the founding and success of start-ups. The aim is to find out which of these factors have a positive influence on the choice of location and to be able to distinguish them from the influence on success in a differentiated approach.

 

To this end, a literature search is conducted at the outset and sources on entrepreneurship, the development process of a firm and the underlying conditions for a desirable realisation of the business idea are consulted. By delving deeper into the research context, it becomes apparent that a deeper level of abstraction will be necessary for further work in order to be able to make clear and valid statements later in the project. Works such as “Start-up and survival chances of family businesses” (Albach and Pinkwart 2002, pp. 21-54) speak of the required agility in a business and the ability to react quickly to external market influences. This goes hand in hand with the initial choice of a location that can guarantee political as well as legal security on a long-term basis. While other sources such as the book “Strategic E-Business” (Keuper 2001, p. 37-72) discuss competitiveness in the information age, the dilution of national borders and distribution channels and the increasing relevance of making processes digital and automated. Just as the positioning in a niche market, due to the increasing change in consumer behaviour from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. Whereby it is increasingly determined by the consumer what is to be offered and, conversely, due to new possibilities in the e-commerce sector, there is a flood of information and offers. For companies, this means focusing on the access to talent and new employees who can offer a connection to change and guarantee future consistency and innovative strength. However, when looking at other aspects such as the culture and risk appetite in a country, tax comparisons, training opportunities and the characteristics of the investor landscape, it becomes apparent that the scope of the study must be narrowed down, as the statements on the conducive framework conditions vary or are generalised depending on the interpretation and region. Accordingly, the author decides to focus future research purely on funding for start-ups. For this purpose, these are defined by their science- and technology-based approach, their focus on innovation, a scalable business model, return-oriented investors and a maximum duration of five years since foundation, based on the description of a startup by the “Swiss Startup Radar” (Baldegger et al. 2020, p. 9).

 

Startup Beschreibung

 

Furthermore, the research work is narrowed down geographically, using Switzerland as the basis for the international comparison and specifically the canton of Zug in the national comparison. Zug was chosen on the grounds that the canton has had an extraordinary media presence in recent years and has an above-average start-up rate. This can thus be used as a reference example in comparison with theoretical statements at government level and a standardised research methodology that follows later.

 

In a next step, research is conducted at the federal level to find out more about Switzerland’s positioning and measures with regard to its start-up ecosystem. Here, a postulate by former National Councillor Fathi Derder with an appeal to the Federal Council regarding better development of innovative start-ups in Switzerland stands out (Derder 2013). In his appeal, the National Council states that both the founding and success rates of Swiss start-ups could be optimised and therefore a sound analysis and immediate measures should be implemented. The Federal Council approved the proposal and presented its opinion in its report on fast-growing start-ups published in 2017. Drawing on sources from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Baldegger et al. 2020), the Swiss Startup Radar (Kyora et al. 2018) and in collaboration with the Department of Economic Affairs (SECO) (ECOPLAN et al. 2016), the Executive presents its assessments of the Swiss framework conditions and position in an international comparison. The conclusion states that Switzerland and its framework conditions range from good to very good. With a distinctive network of high-quality universities and colleges, it provides a widely diversified start-up hub across a large number of cantons. The analyses show both a healthy growth in the number of spin-offs, a broad range of future-oriented training opportunities, initiatives for government support programmes and administrative relief for start-ups, as well as attractive basic tax conditions. The Federal Council refrains from introducing and defining the official term ‘start-up’, as well as from establishing state venture capital funds to directly support start-ups. Rather, the Confederation is trying to better connect to European financing offers and ensure the regulatory framework conditions. Finally, in the dispatch on location promotion 2016-2019 (Sommaruga and Casanova 2015, p. 1), the Federal Council submits a motion to approve various federal resolutions. The reasons given for why Switzerland has comparatively fewer start-ups are the high per capita income, the labour force participation and the associated unattractive opportunity-risk distribution.

 

Based on these reports, reference can be made to a source that serves to interpret the framework conditions and presents a grid of a total of twelve condensed support instruments from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, called the National Entrepreneurship Context Index (NECI) (Baldegger et al. 2020, pp. 9-10). This will be used as a reference point in the later course of the work, supplemented and also used for the next step of the investigation. Some points from this index are the internal market dynamics of a place, the cultural and social norms, the research and development transfer or the commercial infrastructure.

 

National Entrpeneurship Index

 

With this knowledge, the next step is to take a closer look at the Canton of Zug. From sources such as the presentation on the business location from the Department of Economic Affairs (Department of Economic Affairs and Wirtschaftsförderung Zug 2020), the location analysis of the Swiss Brand Experts (swissbrandexperts 2010) and, derived from this, the government’s strategy for the legislative periods 2010 to 2018, the essential success factors are analysed according to the information provided by the stakeholders mentioned (Hegglin et al. 2010). In addition, interviews with start-up founders and government members are taken up to supplement the information obtained (Handelszeitung 04.01.2019). In addition to the overlap of some points from the report of the Confederation as well as from the NECI on the offer of public infrastructures and attractive tax conditions, this research finds some further aspects and soft factors that provide indications of possible research gaps and give rise to hypotheses. This concerns factors such as mobility and the centrality of the location as well as the slogan “The Spirit of Zug” (von Euw 2021), which is supposed to describe the entrepreneurial approach and the customer-centred, solution-oriented appearance of the public authorities. This includes the way of interacting with companies and thus also with start-ups, the stable policy and the innovation-driven mindset. It can be concluded that Zug places special emphasis on communication and marketing, which leads to the hypothesis of including these points separately in a future grid on enabling frameworks. In addition, the theory is established on the basis of the success example of Zug that existing promotional instruments are better used and thus the development of a location progresses all the more the more attention is given to customer-oriented communication. A final hypothesis is formed with regard to local venture capital agencies. After aggregating all sources and despite the partial neglect of the topic at the federal level, the theory is put forward that better access to venture capital in the canton will enable more start-ups to achieve long-term success.

 

With this foundation and prior knowledge, a standardised research methodology is finally arranged. For this purpose, a population of people is defined who are either already in the startup founding role, could found a startup in the future or have been active in a startup in a leading position in the past. The people must be able to establish a direct link to the canton of Zug if possible and are to be surveyed for just under a month by means of an electronic questionnaire. The chosen approach attempts to obtain the opinion of the directly affected target group in the startup question and to compare answers with the previously established and obtained theories. In preparation for the survey, the grid was further broken down and supplemented via the framework conditions and funding instruments NECI. It consists of about 26 items at the time of going live. Further parts of the survey arrangement deal with the location comparisons, the differentiation between the start-up and success factors, the topics of communication and risk capital, as well as with the Canton of Zug as an example of success. To ensure a subsequently valid answer to the research question and hypotheses, the survey must register at least 50 fully completed questionnaires by the final deadline. If the target is not met, Plan B will be implemented with at least 10 qualitatively guided expert interviews.

 

From 18 April 2021 to 9 May 2021, the questionnaire will be shared on social media, LinkedIn and via email and will also be conducted live with some participants. The analysis records 112 records at the end of the survey period, of which around 29 were submitted incomplete. The 83 complete responses can be used for the following discussion, with 47% (53 participants) being self-employed in terms of the total number and around 46% (52 participants) being involved in a start-up. The implementation of Plan B is therefore not necessary. Finally, the answers are compared in weighted form with the NECI of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the federal resolutions and the strategy and analysis of the Canton of Zug. In order to answer the research question, a ranking of the ten most decisive factors for start-up founding and success in each case is created, consisting of the points with the highest agreement from the theoretical basis and the highest rating from the survey. The result shows that for both approaches the following points are of highest relevance:

Supply of and access to public infrastructure
On-site education and access to employees and talent
Local venture capitalists and access to public funding

 

Other congruent aspects with different prioritisation mentioned are fiscal framework, policy stability, legal framework, communication and interaction of authorities, quality of public transport and local business maintenance costs. The only difference in differentiation is item 10, where the number of industry-relevant associations and support programmes is mentioned for start-ups, while for start-up success it is the internal market dynamics that made it to the top ranking. Accordingly, these findings can be further used in the analysis and evaluation of supportive measures and will be discussed in more detail in the detailed research paper.

 

Kantonale Startup Gründungen

 

The hypotheses that have been put forward will also be addressed, starting with the theory that the more customer-oriented communication between the canton and the start-up is prioritised, the better the effect of the other support instruments and infrastructures will be. The question on the impact of customer-oriented communication on the participants shows that 65% of the respondents would make more use of existing funding instruments. Over 50 % would use more funding than before and would be more likely to found their startup in this location. Only 22 % of the votes declare an impact on the success of the start-up and less than 5 % of the respondents each explicitly affirm that customer-oriented communication has no impact on the points mentioned. Over two-thirds affirm the positive effect of speed of response on their decisions and success. Thus, the hypothesis cannot be falsified and remains valid until it is invalidated by a study with a more comprehensive population. As a further thesis, it is suggested that the point of communication must necessarily be taken up as a separate category in the grid of conducive framework conditions and instruments of authorities and governments. The results from the survey show a different picture here. While 92% agree on the relevance of communication and interaction during the start-up phase, only 26% acknowledge its importance for the further success of the company. The thesis is thus partially falsified and the recommendation is only for the inclusion of the communication aspect in the grid of conducive start-up factors. The last hypothesis states that better access to venture capital in a canton will enable more start-ups to achieve long-term success and retain their location. In the entire survey, this is where the clearest evidence emerges to verify the statement. Easy access to venture capital is rated as a decisive factor for success by 95% of the participants, 91% confirm the centrality via the number of regionally represented institutions with a need for investment, and for 88% the average investment volume also plays a significant role. The hypothesis cannot be falsified and remains valid for the time being.

 

Kanton Zug

 

From these findings, it can be concluded that the general framework conditions and funding for start-ups in Switzerland are basically positive, but that there is room for expansion and optimisation of various actions. These include the development of a new specification of the grid of funding instruments separated according to the start-up and success factors. As well as the establishment of standards in quality management and on the process of communication and interaction between authorities and start-ups. As well as the investigation of more attractive framework conditions that lead to the attraction of more venture capitalists and make access and administrative matters as simple as possible. The consideration must take place after a cost-benefit comparison, followed by a feasibility study and the subsequent definition of the scope. In further research, it is recommended to extend the survey period and the budget to incentivise participants in order to record a more comprehensive population and improve the participation rate. Furthermore, there are options to complement the previous research methods with qualitative interviews in order to gain further theories that have not been considered so far and to include them in the validation. In addition, new locations and startup hubs with similar success histories as the Canton of Zug (for example, Berlin) can be consulted for the direct comparison of findings in order to identify circumstantial evidence and to match research gaps such as communication in a different context.

Common M&A Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Topic

Corporate Finance

Mergers and acquisitions are a common occurrence in the corporate market and many of them take place every day. But despite the many mergers and acquisitions, there are not many long-term successes.

 

While most failures are due to market fluctuations or unsatisfactory company valuations, there are also some that occur due to cultural integration challenges;

 

– The obsession of the new company

This is an attempt to deliberately eliminate a company’s culture. All leaders must understand that every company has a culture that, like human DNA, identifies the company and is deeply rooted in the company.

In a merger or acquisition, it is impossible to completely eliminate a company’s culture. It is best if the executives agree on a common consensus and, depending on the size of the deal, some independence can still be granted.

 

– The ivory tower syndrome

This is the case when the merger or acquisition triggers fears for the executives’ careers. They fear losing their status, influence, power or job.

 

– The mirror effect

This is when the executives project their fears onto the employees of the company. For example, it would be possible for managers to be afraid of losing their jobs and to communicate to all employees that the mergers and acquisitions might force management to cut wages.

 

– The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote scenario

This is about making hasty decisions and eventually falling over the proverbial cliff. In this cartoon, Wile E. Coyote could never catch up with Road Runner, no matter how hard he worked or who he hired.

The reason was that in his desperation he tried everything without considering how good his plans were. In some companies, senior managers might do the same thing by announcing acquisition decisions before they have consulted enough people.

 

– Problems leaving the company

This is the case when top management fails to support and reinforce their mid-level managers, who play an important role in managing the company and provide reassurance that they can continue to exist without key roles.

 

– The first spring flower syndrome

This occurs when top management prematurely proclaims the success of the merger. This can lead to employee frustration if it is not translated into reality to the desired extent or does not materialise.

 

Finding the right puzzle in Corporate Finance

 

 

How to avoid the problems

  • Establish a culture working group led by senior managers to ensure that both companies understand and respect each other’s culture, history and values.
    .
  • Conduct regular surveys at different organisational levels to understand and measure the progress of integration and how employees are dealing with it.
    .
  • Communicate clearly what new behaviours and values are expected from leaders to make the merger a success.
    .
  • Invest in mid-level managers to close intercultural gaps, build a foundation of leadership skills and eliminate unconscious bias.
    .
  • Mixing the roles: If you are a human resources manager, don’t get caught up in the technical aspects of the merger.
    .
  • Secure your talent to increase your chances of being retained after successful integration.

 

The best thing companies can do is to learn from the mistakes or successes of other companies that have done mergers and acquisitions in the past.

9 Trends around the business model 2021

Author | Source

Severin Renold

Topic

Business models 2021

The biggest challenge for companies in this new world order is attracting new customers – especially in a “noisy” digital environment where billions of messages compete for attention every day. And since many companies cannot make enough money with their products or services alone (due to increasingly shrinking profit margins), other means in advertising and sponsorship are needed to stay afloat and sustainably profitable. Here are nine 2021 business models that could also work for your company.

 

1. micro-aggregators replace mass marketers.

Instead of dealing with a huge list of vendors and suppliers on their own (which can be very expensive), leading brands will increasingly outsource to micro-aggregators – specialist agencies that act as intermediaries between businesses and smaller companies that can provide niche services, products and content. Often these are offered as platforms or marketplaces for the purpose of increasing efficiency and providing a single point of touch.

 

2 Subscription commerce takes off

Retailers have struggled for years to find ways to compete with Amazon and connect online with customers who want products shipped directly to their homes instead of going to the local store. Here, too, new trends are emerging with the emergence of smart last-mile delivery and drop-shipping providers, to whom the otherwise very costly logistics issues for small businesses can be outsourced and the customer journey improved. In addition, this opens up new opportunities in the subscription sector and the associated customer loyalty.

 

3 Content is Key

Companies will increasingly rely on content marketing to attract attention and differentiate themselves in a world of supply and information overload where most consumers are “always on”. Here, companies will create and promote multimedia content such as articles, videos, podcasts, infographics and much more in order to be actively found according to the pull marketing principle. Consumers expect added value even before the first purchase, which is why it is important to build trust as early as possible.

 

Story Telling

 

4. the micro-subscription economy is exploding

Access rather than ownership is the new normal for many products and services in an ever-connected digital world where convenience takes precedence over ownership. Instead of owning their cameras or laptops, consumers will increasingly pay a monthly subscription fee to use a service provider’s products. This often involves rethinking insurance and quality management.

 

5 Smart data replaces traditional marketing strategies

Traditional marketing may have worked in the past, but today companies are more and more dependent on marketing their offers in an individualised and personalised way. This is precisely why data is gaining in importance and rather the intelligent implementation, pattern formation and integration into existing online sales strategies.

 

6 Mobile overtakes everything

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of mobile users is expected to increase by more than 33 percent. In comparison, internet usage via PC/laptop will only increase by six percent – a huge difference! With more and more people using smartphones and tablets as their primary means of accessing online content, businesses need to make this shift a priority if they want to stay relevant.

 

7. customer-generated content replaces advertising in print and TV media.

The traditional advertising model is dying as more and more customers cancel their cable subscriptions, unsubscribe from their daily newspapers and rely on online reviews when looking for new products or services. Collecting customer feedback through apps – either on your website or through third-party platforms like Facebook and Amazon – is a great way to target the right customers, track their behaviour and gain valuable data along the way.

 

8. The retail apocalypse is accelerating

Between 2011 and 2017, more than 21,000 shops closed permanently in America. This trend will continue to accelerate as brick-and-mortar retail continues its downward trend during and after the pandemic, according to various studies, and physical shops take a back seat to online shopping and alternative business models.

 

9 Fake news is just the tip of the iceberg

In a world where Fake News spreads like wildfire across social media platforms, fact-checking has never been more important. Companies need to equip their employees with tools to monitor and filter the vast amounts of information pouring in from all directions.

 

Final thoughts

As consumer behaviour changes, companies need to take a 360-degree view to establish their brand in the long term and adapt to trends of new generations and technologies. The last months showed best how important it is to be able to act agile and fast, to react to unpredictable market influences and to stand out in a jungle of online offers. Who knows whether personal contact will be desired more in the future to compensate for the online overstimulation. Until then, however, it is recommended to further expand the omni-channel marketing and distribution strategy.

How diversity and innovation are driving culture in the future of work

Author | Sources

Severin Renold

Topic

Culture and Diversity

Corporate culture has increasingly become a relevant concern for both employees and employers. The culture of an organisation determines how a company works and thinks. From the way different teams interact with each other and with customers, to the way processes and services are developed. A strong culture drives performance and enables high levels of engagement in the workplace. According to research, company culture is an increasingly important factor that employees see as a turn-off for a company before and during work – even ahead of pay.

The future of work is focused on diversity and inclusion of background in the workplace. Looking ahead, both are becoming key drivers in the development of positive cultures. Meaningful innovation is taking place in a variety of disciplines. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of diversity and innovation in the workplace.

 

– It allows a company to use different strategies to solve problems

One way is creativity; using opinions from people of different ages, personalities and backgrounds produce innovative ways to accomplish different tasks in the company. It also has a direct impact on customer service, i.e. how employees serve their customer base. Diversity is the future of inclusive work, and it is an excellent way to foster innovation and improve organisational culture.

 

– It provides a safe environment

To protect and advance the innovation space in your company you need to create an environment where it is safe and allowed to make mistakes. The only way for a company to develop new ideas is to try other ways that sometimes don’t work. With a diverse workforce, everyone is involved and encouraged to think for themselves, to make rational or radical decisions and to make mistakes. For this reason, company owners should create space and tolerance for mistakes, initiate incentives and set an example to encourage innovation and progress.

 

Diversität, different Hands

 

– Encourage decision-making

When you have employees with different training and backgrounds, you can come up with better ideas and understand conclusions more clearly. You can also use new strategies for brainstorming, which often produce the best results. The process encourages decision-making and promotes independent thinking among the team in the workplace.

 

– Promoting an organisational culture

Diversity in the workplace doesn’t just hold a recent sales bonanza. It means bringing on board diverse employees who are united by sales goals – and also internalise a vibrant innovation environment and customer focus. This will ultimately lead to taking the company to a new level.

 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, diversity and innovation go hand in hand and no company can be successful without addressing these two aspects. They cannot be compromised, but rather are the foundation for successful businesses, especially in the workplace. Working in diverse teams is not easy, especially in the beginning, and requires everyone involved to adapt their working style and mindset to find consensus and compromise. However, this approach often leads to sustainable success, especially in view of the ever-present globalisation and international clientele.

Switzerland and the FinTech market

Author | Sources

Severin Renold

admin.ch

parlament.ch

booster, magazine for startups and investors

Topic

The FinTech market in Switzerland

The Swiss framework conditions

Switzerland is a country with particularly good framework conditions for start-ups. A stable monetary policy, security, a functioning democracy, the tax regime and the flourishing economy are just some of the reasons why international companies repeatedly choose the small country in the centre of Europe. Particularly through the various industry associations or parliamentary initiatives such as the Derders postulate, the attention of the federal government is also increasingly focused on young, fast-growing technology companies and the measures that could positively influence start-up behaviour. Last but not least, the Federal Council’s report in 2017 shows that a lower start-up or success rate in international comparison (for example, compared to the USA or Israel) is not primarily due to the framework conditions, but rather to the high labour force participation and the good income opportunities in employment. This dilutes the option of starting an entrepreneurship due to the imbalance in the risk-reward ratio and thus fundamentally forms a barrier. This is a challenge that needs to be investigated, as it is ultimately start-ups and healthy competition that drive innovation in an economy and thus increase the prosperity of the population.

 

Aspekte FinTech

 

The fintech sector in particular has seen a lot of activity in recent years, with the canton of Zug, for example, registering a large number of new fintech companies and even being described as the new Crypto Valley by the community. This is the result of an entrepreneurial approach in dealing with administrative issues, according to the economic development agency. While other countries vehemently closed themselves off to the topic of blockchain and cryptocurrencies due to the novelty of the technology and many ambiguities, in Zug solutions were sought and attempts were made to create a suitable legal framework that meets the demands of all stakeholders. However, there is still a high exodus of start-ups that were able to successfully master the first 2-3 financing rounds and are now dependent on more capital for international expansion. Here, there are only a few venture capitalists (not only in Switzerland but in Europe as a whole) who continuously issue cheques in the CHF 20-50 million range, forcing such companies to turn their attention towards Silicon Valley or other venture capital-strong nations.

 

 

Looking at the statistics of the University of Duisburg-Essen from the European Startup Monitor 2016, we see that Switzerland has a high number of startups in the seed and startup stage. While this is basically positive and fuels competition, many jobs are created and profits are made in the subsequent phases, from which the national economy can benefit, new infrastructures are formed and the general quality of life is increased through investments at government level.

 

 

This does not seem to go unnoticed. Discussions are currently underway to improve access to European capital or to allocate local pension fund assets (at a very small percentage) to venture capital assets. In addition, various initiatives are being pursued to optimise the framework conditions for venture capitalists, for example by changing the taxation of company valuations, i.e. wealth tax, to a more income-focused taxation, which is not applicable to young companies in the first few years anyway. But direct measures are not being ignored either. For example, the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters has launched the Green Fintech Network together with industry representatives. Among other things, this is intended to strengthen the interplay between sustainable financial services and digital technology. According to the SIF, the most important players in the sector are represented in this network, including green fintech companies and associations, venture capital firms, universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as consulting firms and law firms. The mission of this network is to show in which areas the framework conditions for green fintechs in Switzerland can be improved.

 

But things are also happening on the corporate side. UBS, for example, is setting an example by founding UBS Next. UBS wants to work more closely with fintechs and the technology ecosystem. To this end, the big bank is setting up a new portfolio with around USD 200 million to invest in digital ventures. UBS mentions internal initiatives and existing strategic partnerships as possible cooperation partners. However, external cooperations with technology companies, start-ups, regulatory authorities and academia are also possible. The objectives of this launch include the co-development of digital innovations, modernisation and modularisation of technical equipment, the use of new technologies such as public cloud, microservices architectures and artificial intelligence. Priority will be given to UBS Next investing directly in early-stage fintechs, it says.

 

The basic movement is therefore promising and it is to be hoped that other large companies will follow suit and parliamentary proposals will be realised.

 

FinTech

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