Neil here.

That weird week between the holidays and the New Year is always a great time to take hard look at some of the biggest lessons we learned over the last year.

It’s also the perfect time to reflect on how those lessons will impact exactly how 2021 and beyond will play out.

That’s why today, I’m rounding up three of 2020’s top startup-world stories. Each story brings with it a whole new set of opportunities and lessons to carry with you through the next year.

You don’t want to skip these. As an angel investor, it’s important to take weeks like these to study up and leave yourself in a great position to kick the new year off right.

So, let’s dive in right away…

1. The SEC Made Investing Even More Accessible

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments of 2020, in the startup world at least, was a series of changes made by the Securities and Exchange Commission to make private investing even more accessible to everyday folks.

We’ve already talked about a couple of them here at The Startup Investor.

Over the summer, for example, the SEC expanded the definition of who can be an “accredited investor.” The SEC also made landmark changes to Regulation Crowdfunding (CF) restrictions. You can read more about it here.

But most recently, the SEC accepted a proposal to allow direct listings on the New York Stock Exchange, in place of traditional IPOs.

In a direct listing, no new shares of a company are created, and only existing shares are sold. It doesn’t involve expensive bank underwriters, and it doesn’t take as much time as a traditional IPO.

What does that mean for the startup world? Well, to start, it means we could see a massive increase in exits through this year… and it’s possible that these exits will be even faster.

For investors, that means an opportunity to cash in on a portfolio company quicker than a traditional IPO. It also means that investor shares may not be diluted, as no new shares have been created.

Some of the biggest companies on the market have used direct listings to go public (think Spotify and Slack). And this year, companies like Palantir and Asana continued the trend.

I expect 2021 and beyond will bring even more direct listings out of the woodwork… and down the line, your own portfolio companies may choose to pursue one, too.

2. Cryptocurrency Is Turning Up the Heat

Cryptocurrency saw explosive growth in 2020. Many large companies, like PayPal and Square, are quickly moving into the cryptocurrency space… and I expect that momentum to spill over into the startup world next year.

In fact, one of the biggest anticipated public offerings of 2021 is digital currency exchange company Coinbase.

Much of this momentum centers on Bitcoin, which broke its own records this year. As I write this, one bitcoin is worth a whopping $27,000.

But, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know we called this a while ago.

In fact, the last time he made a prediction about Bitcoin, my colleague Tom Gentile predicted it would more than double… which it did. He thinks it could hit $50,000 by the end of 2021, and up to $500,000 by 2030.

However, that type of gain is nothing compared to the potential of three other crypto microcurrencies Tom has pinpointed. And with his unique strategy built specifically to spot crypto winners, I have no trouble believing he’s right.

Tom thinks 2021 could create more crypto wealth than any other financial event in history. If you’re looking to get into the crypto space, this one is for you.

There are only 250 spots left today… so just click here for more information now.

3. Startups Are Disrupting the Vaccine Space

It’s no secret that a COVID-19 vaccine has been top-of-mind for most people this year. And this quarter, we made some serious strides toward that effort.

As we speak, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are making their way around the world, starting with those who need it most. This is a massive feat for science, and I’m excited at the possibility of life returning to somewhat normal sometime soon.

From a startup investor perspective, however, the vaccine is even more interesting.

You see, Moderna was a startup company only two years ago. In December 2018, they held the largest biotech IPO in history. We covered Moderna’s story here.

Now, 2020 has been an absolutely incredible year for biotech startups, especially the ones working on COVID-19 efforts themselves. Hundreds of startups around the world are working hard to get their own products to market alongside the big guys.

Codagenix, for example, is a Series B startup based in New York that’s developing a live vaccine against the virus. They’ve already raised $26.8 million and their clinical trial was approved to start in London.

Overall, health and biotech companies have raised around $35 billion in VC funding year-to-date… and $14 billion of that cash came from Q3 alone.

To me, this news means that the biotech wave is far from over. Moving into 2021, I expect to see a ton of new biotech opportunities sprout up… and we’ll have our ears to the ground looking for the best ones.

That’s all from me today. But this week, I’ll be deep diving into some of the top trends and stories I’m anticipating for the next 12 months.

There’s a lot to cover to make sure you’re up to speed coming into 2021.

You’ll also hear more from one of our newest Advisory Board members… so, make sure you stick around. You won’t want to miss it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another update.

Until next time,

Neil Patel