An industry like energy, healthcare or information technology is broad. An industry vertical (also called a vertical market) is more specific, identifying companies that offer niche products or fit into multiple industries. Verticals are often new fields with promising companies that attract investors.
To help investors find opportunities, we categorize companies in our venture capital, private equity and M&A database by 50+ verticals. Learn more about the verticals below, or check out the
Products that facilitate the printing of three-dimensional objects—including 3D printers and software that uses data points to create cross-sectional patterns of the object being printed.
Example: Desktop Metal
Technology, software and services that deliver, control and target online advertising.
Companies utilizing innovative and novel technologies to improve products or processes related to manufacturing. This encompasses technologies such as 3D printing, sensors and IoT platforms, automation and robotics, artificial intelligence/machine learning and big data applications, wearable devices and exoskeletons, augmented and virtual reality applications, as well as software relating to enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS), and inventory management.
Example: Spark Cognition
Software and hardware systems that automate, manage and promote environmentally conscious farming—including wireless sensors to monitor soil, air and animal health; hydroponic and aquaponic systems; remote-controlled irrigation systems; aerial photo technology to analyze field conditions; biotech platforms for crop yields; data-analysis software to augment planting, herd, poultry and livestock management; automation software to manage tasks; and accounting software to track and manage expenses.
Example: Indigo Agriculture
Artificial intelligence and machine learning:
Technology that enables computers to autonomously learn, deduce and act. Systems with artificial intelligence and machine learning collect and store massive amounts of data and make decisions based on probability and statistical analysis. Applications of AI and machine learning include speech recognition, computer vision, robotic control and accelerating processes in the empirical sciences.
Example: Human Longevity
Software and hardware related to the music industry—including on-demand music services as well as audio technology like headphones, transmitters, and automobile, home and studio sound systems.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology which overlays superimposed computer-generated images over a users’ view of the real-world, thus altering and/or enhancing one’s current perception of reality. Companies in this space are involved with hardware and software development, content creation, and distribution related to AR products. This includes headsets, eye tracking technology, smart glasses, video games, mobile applications, training programs, advertising, and commercial and retail applications that utilize AR technology.
Vehicles that can sense their environment and navigate without human interaction as well as related technology that utilizes radar, lidar, GPS, odometry, and software and computer vision.
Companies developing software intended to facilitate transactions between businesses. This technology is primarily intended to improve the speed, security, and affordability of existing B2B Payment solutions. This includes companies involved in accounts receivable and accounts payable software, electronic invoicing, international payments networks, blockchain B2B solutions, payments analytics, virtual payment cards, and supply chain and procurement software.
This vertical encompasses beauty companies who are incorporating digital technologies into their products or services, providing bespoke products that target a niche group of users, or are manufacturing and marketing their products as natural, clean, and organic.
Products or services that handle datasets too large for traditional databases.
Example: Uptake Technologies
Companies involved in production, retail distribution, digital media, therapeutics, business solutions, or the development of consumer products related to cannabis. This includes marijuana dispensaries, laboratory testing equipment and services, medical marijuana, cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, vaporizers and accessories, cannabis cultivation, and online content and networking related to cannabis.
Technology that reduces the environmental impact of human activities or the amount of natural resources humans consume.
Example: Tri Alpha Energy
Companies building hardware and software solutions intended to increase the efficiency and productivity of operations related to construction, building, and infrastructure. This includes project management software, construction robots, job site survey drones, building information modeling, augmented and virtual reality applications for construction, modular and pre-fabrication solutions, equipment marketplaces, and risk management tools.
Cryptocurrency refers to a virtual medium of exchange, created and stored electronically in the blockchain, distinguishable from other currencies in that it uses cryptographic technology to decentralize the creation of monetary units and securely verify transactions. This space includes companies providing services or developing technology related to the exchange of cryptocurrency, the storage of cryptocurrency, the facilitation of payments using cryptocurrency, and securing cryptocurrency ledgers via mining activities.
Blockchain refers to a distributed public database which keeps a permanent and incorruptible record of digital transactions. Blockchains are unique in that they cannot be controlled by a single entity and have no single point of failure. Furthermore, blockchains can be programmed to store more than just financial information. This space includes companies involved in developing blockchain applications related to smart contracts, crowd funding, supply chain auditing, cryptocurrency, identity management, intellectual property, and file storage.
Information technology solutions specifically oriented toward user and network security.
Companies that sell products or facilitate the selling of products online—including online retailers, online marketplaces, social commerce, logistics and shipping for online retailers, and software providers and hosting services for online retailers.
Software and hardware that enhance teaching practices and improve learning outcomes.
Online platforms that enable users to temporarily
share and display photos, videos, messages, documents and other content. Content on these platforms vanishes after a certain time.
Competitive gaming at a professional level and in an organized format such as a tournament or league, and with a specific goal such as winning a championship and/or receiving prize money. This vertical includes eSports teams, streaming and broadcasting platforms, communication and social apps used for gaming, marketing tools, analytics and training services for eSports athletes, fantasy and virtual gambling, gaming hardware manufacturers, tournament and event hosts, and developers and publishers of eSports titles.
Example: Twitch Interactive
Technology that uses the internet, blockchain, software and algorithms to offer or facilitate financial services traditionally offered by banks (loans, payments, investments and wealth management). Fintech also includes software that automates financial processes or addresses core business needs of financial firms.
Companies developing technology intended to improve consumer experiences around food selection, purchasing, and consumption. This space includes all of the Restaurant Technology vertical in addition to: food ordering and delivery applications, food waste recyclers, meal kits and recipe boxes, cooking and chef communities, novel foods, as well as online grocery retail.
This vertical collects all companies existing within the Video Game ecosystem. This includes companies developing and publishing titles, those building tools and services for videogame studios and players, as well as companies providing accessories and peripherals intended for gaming. Online poker and casino games are excluded from this space, however gambling related to eSports is included.
Example: Electronic Arts
Technology that improves healthcare while decreasing cost or optimizes patient-centric healthcare.
Example: Outcome Health
Human Resource Technology:
Companies developing software designed to improve human resource management operations and hiring processes. This includes applications used for recruiting, applicant tracking, applicant screening, performance management, benefits administration, employee engagement, and employee analytics.
Example: Metamor Worldwide
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This vertical includes companies that have received investment from those funds and/or investors with an Investment Preference of "seeks impact investment.” For a fund to qualify as an impact fund, it must meet criteria 1-3 OR 4 below:
- Investing for financial returns
- Investing to intentionally create a positive social/environmental impact
- Actively measuring the impact that is created (with ESG criteria, UN SDGs, IRIS, GIIRS, etc.)
- Self-identify as an impact fund.
Additionally, this vertical includes companies that have received investment from "not-for-profit venture capital" investors.
Example: Vital Capital Fund
This vertical serves as an industry aggregate intended to capture companies engaged in providing industrial and commercial supplies and services, diversified trading, distribution operations, and transportation services. Industrials is comprised of the Infrastructure vertical combined with the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Building Products, Construction & Engineering, Electrical Equipment, Machinery, Distributors & Wholesale, Printing Services, Environmental Services, Office Services, Security Services, Consulting Services, Human Capital Services, B2B Transportation, and B2C Transportation.
Example: Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Physical assets necessary for transporting goods, multimodal commerce or generating power.
Example: GreatPoint Energy
Internet of Things (IoT):
Physical objects with embedded sensors and software that uses data from these sensors to improve user experience or share information with a network of other devices.
Example: C3 IoT
Companies utilizing technology to increase the speed, efficiency, accuracy, and convenience of processes across the insurance value chain. This includes quote comparison websites, insurance telematics, insurance domotics (home automation), peer-to-peer insurance, corporate platforms, online brokers, cyber insurance, underwriting software, claims software, and digital sales enabling.
Companies that work with living organisms and life processes—including biology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technology and nutraceuticals.
LOHAS and wellness:
Consumer products or services focused on health, the environment, green technology, social justice, personal development or sustainable living.
Products that require a significant amount of equipment and raw materials to produce.
Digital technology that automates and simplifies the marketing process—including tools for search engine optimization (SEO), customer analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), loyalty programs and applications that leverage social media to connect brands with consumers.
Services for mobile devices or that enable mobile communication.
Example: Didi Chuxing
Companies building mobile applications to assist in the buying and selling of goods and services through a wireless internet-connected device such as a phone or tablet. This includes bill payments, mobile retail, mobile baking services, peer-to-peer payment transferring applications, and mobile point-of-sale applications.
Companies leveraging digital technologies to improve efficiency and speed in phases of the mortgage life cycle such as mortgage origination, underwriting, servicing, and closing. This includes mortgage processing and workflow software providers, tech-based mortgage lenders, mortgage data and analytics, and digital mortgage brokers.
Products created by manipulating materials at an atomic level.
Oil and Gas:
Companies involved in the extraction, production, refining, transportation, and/or processing of oil and natural gas resources, as well as related products. This vertical encompasses all of the upstream (exploration, extraction, operating of wells), midstream (transportation via pipeline, oil tanker, rail, or truck of refined and unrefined goods), and downstream (refining and processing of crude oil, as well as purifying of raw natural gas) sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Products that help diagnose or treat cancer.
Companies enhancing pet ownership and pet quality of life through the creation of digital devices, novel services, and pet-related applications. This includes pet health and monitoring devices, pet genetics services, social media applications designed for pets, pet care and dog walking applications, pet food delivery services, and assorted digital devices intended for pet care.
Real Estate Technology:
Companies developing and leveraging technology intended to help facilitate the purchase, management, maintenance, and investment into both residential and commercial real estate. This includes sub-sectors such as property management software, IoT home devices, property listing and rental services, mortgage and lending applications, data analysis tools, virtual reality modeling software, augmented reality design applications, marketplaces, mortgage technology, and crowdfunding websites.
Companies engaged in the development of hardware and software intended to help restaurants increase profitability, efficiency, and customer engagement. This includes provision of guest wifi and phone charging stations, customer acquisition and retention programs, order kiosks, point of sale systems, table top devices, restaurant management software, 3D food printing, and mobile applications related to online ordering, booking and reservations, payment, as well as restaurant reviews and discovery.
While "ridesharing" has taken on a variety of meanings, we adopt the definition that Uber tends to use most frequently, which considers ridesharing to be the hailing of a ride via app or platform, usually met by a private vehicle and sometimes a taxi. Though "sharing" is in the name, this definition isn't restricted to pool rides or lines where passengers from different parties ride together. The term also encompasses private rides, which consist of a driver and one-trip party only.
Robotics and drones:
Mechanical devices that are automated or remote controlled—including machinery that performs repetitive tasks for manufacturing, machinery that performs precise tasks for surgery or semiconductor production, and unmanned vehicles.
SaaS (software as a service):
Software hosted in a central location that users can access with a subscription.
Companies that provide services, engage in scientific research, or develop technology related to spaceflight, satellites, or space exploration. This includes micro-satellites, nano-satellites, ground station networks, rocket technology, payload systems, spacecraft development, satellite imagery, satellite telecommunications, space-based data, space materials, space tourism, and asteroid mining.
Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) serves as an industry aggregate intended to capture companies that exist within the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications value chain. This includes companies providing network infrastructure, companies developing technologies utilizing those networks, and finally companies leveraging those technologies to distribute digital content. TMT is comprised of all tech-related verticals combined with the following industries: B2C Electronics, Healthcare Technology Systems, and the entire Information Technology sector.
Example: Verizon Wireless
Software and hardware that immerse users in a three-dimensional, virtual world. Virtual worlds are created using wearable devices, such as head-mounted stereoptical displays or gloves with embedded sensors. Virtual reality also includes environments where users can interact with each other through computer-generated avatars.
Example: Magic Leap
Wearables and quantified self:
Consumer products that track aspects of a user’s life (like mood, nutrition and activity). Data from these products can help users better understand their health, fitness, stress, sleep and more.
Example: Proteus Digital Health
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