INSIGHTS AND RESEARCH

Integra Digest: Urban Globalisation – 2nd part

With rapid urbanisation occurring globally, it is necessary for significant urban planning to take place.

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Integra Groupe

August 4, 2022

INSIGHTS AND RESEARCH

August 4, 2022

Integra Digest: Urban Globalisation – 2nd part

With rapid urbanisation occurring globally, it is necessary for significant urban planning to take place. While statistics are difficult to gather, with only estimates available regarding the number of people moving from rural to urban areas annually, it is still clear that the volume and concentration of urban populations is not slowing down in the slightest. Nonetheless, the available knowledge highlights some important areas needing improvement and investment:

  • More people live in urban areas than not across the globe.
  • 1.5 million people moved into urban areas per week back in 2015, this number is expected to double by 2050, if not to exceed this projection.
  • Capital cities remain the most densely populated while newly urbanised cities are quickly catching up.
  • While urban globalisation is a huge megatrend, only 1% of land is defined as a built-up area, meaning population density within that 1% of land is extremely high.
  • The popularity of employment continues to fall in agricultural sectors.
  • The definition of “urban” cities is not globally agreed upon, each country declares its own criteria for classifying a city as ‘urban’ – meaning data can vary significantly by country.

The main attraction of urban cities for both investors and residents is that they harbour a unique ecosystem – they achieve more than the sum of their contents. This ability to extract more financially and socially than combined parts provides a rather attractive symbiosis, one which is not, unfortunately, immune to combustion.

As urban populations grow, to some extent uncontrollably, communities and governments face big challenges to develop infrastructure to account for the value of incoming residents. Worryingly, infrastructure and housing does not grow at the same velocity as populations do because of constrained capacity and finance. Realistically speaking local and national government budgets are not as effective at responding, at an ideal speed, which is why private investment is so important to bringing solutions to immediate problems urban communities and businesses face. This is a fine opportunity for investors with attractive returns, returns which are not only commercial but also government backed.

Given that United Nations’ expectation for urban globalisation is that more than 68% of the total world populations will reside in urban areas by 2050 is it vital to remember that sustainability is key to a prosperous future – key to investment returns and also key to sustaining such positive population metrics. The UN’s eleventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) is to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” As part of our ethos at Integra Groupe, we invest in companies which actively seek to sustain SDG goals, moreover to actively employ ESG investment across all areas of their business model.

Integra Groupe

August 4, 2022

August 3, 2022

Integra Digest: Technological Progress – 2nd part

Over the next five to ten years the world will see an inevitable increase and change in the technologies we currently know and use. As such, there is not only a need for businesses and organisations to implement strategies for using the new technologies, but also to educate themselves and their stakeholders – thus developing an understanding and swift adaptation. Apt capability of deploying new technologies has proven to benefit companies greatly, more so if said companies readily invest into new tech opportunities.

Which technological breakthroughs will we see flooding markets soon?

The first of many is, of course, automation. Automation more broadly entails automated systems which replace or simplify human labour. We have of course already seen a glimpse of this as customer services and advertising have largely become replaced by online chat bots and tailored voice recordings designed to address customers’ needs efficiently and quickly, thus cutting labour costs significantly for businesses. In the near future error-sensitive tasks and jobs will be almost entirely replaced by artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud technology. Thus, automating business models and organisations as a whole is a significantly profitable investment opportunity as for investors as for the businesses themselves. Employees, akin to consumers, have developed an increasingly high benchmark for digital apps, systems, and platforms they use daily, thus investing in a high-tech work environment and corporate technology will not only improve the efficiency of workers but also the efficiency of the entire business, without much cost-cutting.

Streamlining markets is also one to look out for. Technology which facilitates transactions, direct relationships between consumer, supplier and business ultimately enables markets to grow stably and competitively – driving costs down while increasing quality. Technology such as big data, ‘the internet of things’ and instant mobile payments further allow for businesses to be proactive by knowing their customers future needs, and therefore allowing to capitalise on those very needs and requirements in due course. The facilitation of such market innovation is the reason we invested in Sellrs, a Mexican SaaS providing omnichannel software solutions for SMEs in Mexico and Colombia and eradicating a market gap for brick-and-mortar SMEs’ access to credit, integrated point of sale solutions (POS), sales management tools, logistics and marketing.

Last but not by any means least is new products and services derived from technological advances. Those very products one thought, even five years ago, would be impossible to create and use, like 3D printers for example or self-driving cars, both of which now exist. One major technological breakthrough which is gradually becoming a megatrend on its own is nanotechnology and DNA sequencing. With the help of nanotechnology and DNA sequencing businesses will be able to create higher quality and completely sustainable materials and products at an affordable price. This megatrend is also rather broad in its reach – from medicine, air and space travel, agriculture and, finally, electronics – thus containing huge opportunities for investment into a large number of various start-ups breaking into these sectors.

Integra Groupe brings you closer to such incredible investment opportunities meanwhile providing a gateway for founders operating in these megatrends to exploit their full potential.

Integra Groupe

August 3, 2022

July 29, 2022

Integra Digest: Urban Globalisation

While urban globalisation continues to be a profitable megatrend, it is not without challenges even for developing countries who are currently reaping ‘dividends’ from the fruitfulness of urbanizing. Rapid migration can strain the resources of an urban city quickly, with infrastructure, environment and living conditions being most at risk, as such these pain points become a great opportunity for investment. The UN estimates a 78$ billion investment into global infrastructure being made within the next decade, meanwhile 55% of the total world population currently live in urban cities. The figures speak for themselves and they are both set to grow.

What are the niche areas of investment to be explored? The leading demographic of urban cities is young and working age professionals who often leave their friends and family behind, thus, participation in city governance, job creation, inclusive infrastructure, adequate housing, and connectivity are the most in need of investment and streamlined solutions. Urbanisation is also not actionable without a technology abled transition, and digital, data-driven enterprises are solving many pain points. In fact, the market for tech in so-called ‘smart cities’ has grown by nearly 20% from 2015-2020, but there are still basic necessities to be met – access. Integra Groupe invested in Siglo for this very purpose, giving fintech start-ups the pathway to increasing inclusivity, facilitating connectivity, participation and creating opportunities of those in urban hubs through quickly eradicating an everyday challenge in developing infrastructures – reliable and quick access to internet.

Creating radical tech-enabled solutions to everyday problems is the symbiosis needed for urban globalisation’s sustainability.

Integra Grupe

July 29, 2022

July 21, 2022

Integra Digest: Technological Progress

The introduction of the Internet in 1983 has paved the way for changes within humanity that could never have been fathomed at its conception. The advancement and adaptation to technology is omnipresent and here to stay. Technological progress is a predicted megatrend with not only the Internet as a key player but big data, cloud computing, DNA sequencing, energy storage, advanced robot technology, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, mobile internet, internet payments, nanotechnology and 3D printing.  

With the high volume and speed of technological progress it is a lot to unpack. However, these technologies are not possibilities but our reality therefore organizations which do not understand these processes must learn quickly. These technologies will increase efficiency and effectiveness; provide transparency and predictive ability and improve the general well-being of people by making new products and services fully available.  

Technological progress can be taken for granted for our future and we are witnessing LATAM’s rapid digitization before our own eyes. When brick and mortar businesses go from pen and paper to SaaS inventories, education is conducted via Video, work becomes remote and 60 million more Latin Americas become banked, the old processes become obsolete and our manner of communication and life changes forever. Integra invests in disruptive technology because it is aligned with our thesis to improve 10 million lives in 10 years.

Integra Groupe

July 21, 2022