CreaTech Hotlist - 4 Businesses to Watch in 2022!
There is an astounding amount of new ventures in the tech space and the industry is experiencing an unprecedented surge in its investment. Sub-sectors such as Fintech, Biotech and Healthtech have received much attention over the past few years for their innovation and extreme levels of growth.
Creative Technology - which combines creative industries such as TV, Film, Music and Design with modern technology - is a fast growing and incredibly diverse sector with plenty of innovation and collaboration within it.
At Harmonic, my specialty is working with creative businesses to find the best finance professionals to help their company scale. Therefore, it’s incredibly exciting to see CreaTech grow exponentially as an industry. It secured a ‘record-breaking’ £11.2 billion in investment last year and is predicted to have an increased investment of 25% by 2022. This shows us that although this sector is in its relatively early stages, it has huge potential to flourish.
From AI and 5G to virtual reality, modern technology is being used to expand the commercial possibilities of creative businesses. Despite this being an up-and-coming sector, the fast and high scaling nature of CreaTech companies, combined with the rate of investment within the industry, indicates the importance of watching this space!
I’ve profiled a group of CreaTech startups and established businesses whose work is so inventive, imaginative and unprecedented, it would be impossible to take your eyes off them in the years to come. Here they are:
Imagination is an Experience Design company headquartered in London. Founded 50 years ago, this company is well-versed in creating memorable avant-garde experiences for audiences and brands. With offices in 14 cities around the globe and clients such as Ford, IKEA, Samsung and Shell, this tech business has established itself as one willing to push boundaries in the digital experience space.
The company has a particular focus on creating experiences that are groundbreaking and continuously challenge the status-quo. In recent times, Imagination has partnered up with gaming super-power Epic Games on incredible virtual productions. Funding received allowed it to help brands in developing astounding Hollywood-style visual effects. Despite Imagination’s existence in the creative tech space for decades, it continues to stay relevant and ambitious, making it a CreaTech company to certainly keep track of.
Using cutting-edge technology to create immersive entertainment is something this tech business is expert in. Factory 42 create multi-sensory and interactive experiences that invoke emotion within audiences and consumers, with a mission to use technology to make learning fun.
Recently, the company’s innovation has allowed it to work with the likes of David Attenborough, Sky and The Natural History Museum to create a ground-breaking virtual reality experience whereby viewers can interact with Attenborough himself and get their hands on artefacts from famous historical collections. Using the power of 5G, ‘Hold The World’ includes a life-like 3D hologram of Sir David who acts as a guide through the museum - a truly immersive and entertaining experience.
Additionally, the team has a wealth of experience in the creative fields, working on films such as Harry Potter, The Avengers and The Hobbit. Therefore, it is no surprise they are a CreaTech business with a very exciting future.
First established at Queen Mary’s University and Black Swan Ltd in 2018, Dragonfly AI uses cutting edge AI technology to instantly map what content grabs audience attention across a given platform. This technology, which is supported by neuroscience, can tell businesses more about their audience and allow them to make changes to their platforms based on this data. Perhaps real-time insights, like this, are the next step in understanding consumers beyond demographics and basic analytics.
The technology works by using AI modelled on human brain function to show what the human brain sees first - having the capability of improving the attention of consumers and conversion rates for brands, retailers and marketing agencies by up to 10-60%. This technology takes the guesswork out of decision making when optimising content and instead provides unbiased analysis of content. In a world saturated with consumer content, tech like this is a powerful way for brands to separate themselves from competitors.
The Music and Entertainment industries were some of the worst affected by the global pandemic. Venues were forced to shut, international travel halted, and punters confined to their homes as a result of nationwide lock-downs. But as society re-opens, how can this industry take back control and flourish? GigRealm provides a platform for live musicians and venues, including bars and pubs, to organise gigs easily.
With this technology, artists can upload their profile and have access to potential gigs, knowing that they will always get paid and are protected through the app. It also allows venues to filter through artists and secure entertainment for their venue, without any hidden fees. After a tough 18 months or so for the industry, apps like these can give power back to individuals who make entertainment and nightlife what it is.
Despite CreaTech being one of the lesser known sub-sectors within the tech space, it is clear that there is a wealth of amazingly innovative and forward-looking talent in this space. With record investment into CreaTech companies, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in the sub-sector. Typically, the UK has had a very ‘traditional’ creative sector. So, it is important to recognise the talent that exists in a more unconventional part of both the creative and technology industries.
The businesses above are incredibly diverse and inventive, illustrating how differing tech can be in the creative space. Using the best cutting-edge technology around, all of these businesses devote themselves to creating interesting and lively experiences for consumers and audiences - making them memorable businesses and ones to follow closely in years to come.
At Harmonic, two of our main focuses are partnering with rapidly scaling businesses and businesses in the creative industries. CreaTech is a space that embodies both of these elements, combining our specialties. We truly understand the value of hiring Finance professionals who don’t just have the technical competencies, but who have the values and personality to thrive in a creative, dynamic and non-corporate environment. In other words, if you are looking for an individual to help scale your high-growth creative business - you know where to come! If you simply want an exploratory discussion to understand how we’d be able to support you with your hiring needs, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me on email@example.com or call 0203 773 3530.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Ed Naish – Community Manager (Creative Industries)
With thanks to Serena.