The way in which industries will operate in the future must be chief of mind when it comes to making private investment decisions, according to senior directors at several investment companies.

The recent 2019 Allfin Investment Summit recently hosted a panel discussion on seizing opportunity in emerging industries in Australia, and one of the key takeaways was the importance of investing in the future, rather than relying on past winning strategies.

Tony Holt, co-founder and partner at Square Peg Capital, the firm behind private company successes Canva and Airwallex, said it was important to look to the future.

“Technology has been rapidly changing traditional industries for a long time and we are seeing many more industries being disrupted now,” he said.

“We invest in the future, the future of work — how are we going to be working in the decades to come?”

Holt pointed to the fintech, artificial intelligence, energy and technology sectors as growth areas.

“A large proportion of our investments are in fintech in Australia were there are really significant profit pools,” he said. “We are also looking at AI as it connects to healthcare, the future of energy and also deep tech — we’ve invested in quantum computing. So there are no shortages of industries being disrupted by change.

Quantum computing is the use of quantum mechanics to perform computation tasks. It is hoped that quantum computers will be able to perform tasks and solve problems that classical computers cannot.

The global market is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 53 per cent, according to BCC Research.

Similarly, Karen Chan, director at Investec, said they were looking at companies similar to Airbnb and Uber.

“The sharing economy is a big opportunity as it is changing the way we as consumers use transport, use hotels, the way we travel,” she said.

“We also need to be looking at ways people can upskill themselves when they are faced with automation as jobs are disrupted.”

David Leslie, investment director of Ellerston Capital, said they were looking beyond startups.

“Well past early stage, looking for growth capital,” he said.

“Businesses need to offer scale. Some have great ideas but they don’t have big markets. They need to operate in Australia and beyond.

“Take a look at Afterpay; it started here and is now trying to conquer the world.”