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3 investors discuss the most (and least) exciting emerging technologies on their radar

Rebecca Lynn of Canvas Ventures, Sarah Tavel of Benchmark Capital, and Julie Sandler of Pioneer Square Labs speak share ‘The VC View’ at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. (Photo by Dan DeLong for GeekWire)

Insurance and machine learning are hot, virtual reality is not, and cryptocurrency is complicated.

Those are a few takeaways from “The VC View” — a panel of venture capitalists featuring Canvas Ventures’ Rebecca Lynn, Pioneer Square Labs’ Julie Sandler, and Benchmark Capital’s Sarah Tavel — at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle Tuesday.

Each of the panelists shared the emerging technologies that they’re most excited about and the industries they are shying away from. Continue reading to learn which tech trends are on these investors’ radars.

Julie Sandler (Pioneer Square Labs)

Hot: “Machine learning, specifically we’re spending a lot of time in the space of real estate and rural land parcels.”

Not: “A couple years ago, we were spending a lot of time on VR and AR. Right now it feels like the install phase everyone thought was going to be there isn’t quite there … I’m a little more bearish on that.”

Sarah Tavel (Benchmark Capital)

Hot: “The number one space that I’m spending the most amount of time on, learning, talking to companies, etc., is actually the cryptocurrency space.”

Not: [VR] is the right answer right now. It’s the Gartner Hype Cycle. You always go through inflated expectations. We’ve gone through that. Now there’s more the trough of disillusionment and hopefully, we’ll start to get out of there as the cost of hardware devices goes down and the quality gets better but right now it’s a long way off.”

Rebecca Lynn (Canvas Ventures) 

Hot: “I’ve been looking at insurance for about two years now … it’s the evolution of banking.”

Not: “I’ve looked at crypto for a while now and … I think a lot of the things that make cryptocurrency so interesting are all the things that have to go away. It has to be regulated. You have to be known and not anonymous … it was really overhyped for a while.”

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