With 25 years backing trailblazing companies under our belt, Headline isn't content with just celebrating the past. We leverage the wisdom of cycles to crack the code on sustainable returns, while also analyzing mountains of data from ~100,000 startups to fuel our forward vision each year. The Headline Lookahead series unveils what our investors are tracking in 2024 across our four core sectors: consumer, infrastructure, B2B software, and fintech.
Within infrastructure, our team has focused meaningfully on following momentum of developers and data to identify activity-level product market fit. As we search for rapid usage growth and adoption retention of new tooling, we cast a fairly wide net across the data, software development, cloud, security, and AI/ML value chains. This mission originally attracted us to the rapid data evolution at Segment, the criticality of Honeycomb within engineer workflows, and the security that Bitwarden provides to NASA’s most sensitive user information.
In 2023, we observed several changes and dynamics within infrastructure software that influence our investment perspectives for 2024. First, we are keenly aware of the persistent duality of verticalised development vs. fragmented operations within software development. The divide feels wider now than it did over the last few years, and for our team, it’s important to identify market opportunities that either benefit from being best-in-class or from owning more developer timeshare.
Within AI and ML, it’s been amazing to see the innovation at the foundational model and compute layers, although this value accrual upstream comes with significant capital outlays that may not be best addressed using venture capital dollars. As Headline looks to identify capital efficient growth, we are laser-focused on the upstream models that scale with efficiency quickly or the downstream models within the middleware and application layers that offer the stickiest workflows or step-change improvements in process performance.
Outside of the SDLC and the AI/ML, our team sees several opportunities elsewhere within infrastructure, including several burgeoning horizontal workflows in the data stack, next-generation security platforms that can abstract away expensive data ingestion, and highly performant workflow solutions attached to best-in-class hyperscaler storage products.
Are you building an infrastructure company that maps to these themes? Pitch us here.