Morning Brew - ☕️ Decarbonization dollars

Plus, three insights from execs at CES.
Morning Brew January 11, 2023

Emerging Tech Brew

West Monroe

Happy Wednesday. Here’s some perspective on TSMC’s dominant position atop the semiconductor industry: Even though its Q4 revenue rose an impressive 43% to ~$20.6 billion, per Bloomberg calculations, the chipmaking giant missed revenue expectations for the quarter. Tough crowd.

In today’s edition:

What 2023 will hold for the climate-tech sector
Three takeaways from exec conversations at CES
Reader poll: Consumer-tech edition

—Grace Donnelly, Hayden Field, Dan McCarthy


The year ahead for climate-tech VCs

image of renewable energy sources and other climate tech Francis Scialabba

Macroeconomic trends heading into 2023 are a source of anxiety in the tech industry, but they don’t tell the whole story when it comes to climate-tech investing.

Zoom in: Along with the urgency of the climate crisis, investors expect that countries, companies, and individuals seeking less expensive, more reliable energy will continue to fuel growth in cleantech.

“We have not seen any slowdown in activity, in interest, in company formation, or in talent coming into climate tech,” Sarah Sclarsic, co-founder and managing partner at investment firm Voyager, told Emerging Tech Brew.

Some context: 2021 was a record-setting year for climate-tech funding. The dollar amounts and deal counts for 2022 are still being tallied, but estimates range widely, from climate-tech funding dropping at about the same rate as VC investments overall, per PitchBook data shared with us, to the sector growing by nearly 90% year over year.

So what do investors expect this year to hold? Click here to read what they told us.GD



Under pressure

West Monroe

Tech companies are feeling the pinch. With all the economic volatility and labor market madness, these companies are expected to reduce their spend—all while trying to scale their profitability.

But who are we kidding? You already knew that. What you might not know is that West Monroe has resources to help you do more with less. Their new report tackles tech’s key issues, like:

  • focusing on efficient product-led growth by creating the products and features that consumers want
  • prioritizing the customer journey and experience
  • how revenue operations (aka the integrated set of data and insights, processes, and systems used to streamline an organization) can help companies grow

Survive the squeeze. Get the full report here.


What tech execs told us at CES

Collage of tech devices Francis Scialabba

Tell someone in the tech industry that you’re going to CES in Las Vegas, and chances are they’ll respond with raised eyebrows and a knowing sigh. That’s because CES is billed as the world’s biggest and most influential tech conference—and the four-day event is typically equal parts exciting and overwhelming.

Last week was my third time reporting on the ground from CES, and something felt different—it seemed like the conference was finally back in full force, after one all-virtual year and one year with significantly reduced attendance.

  • This year’s event drew in 115,000+ attendees and 3,000+ exhibitors from 20+ countries.

While there...I chatted with execs at a range of companies about their biggest tech takeaways from 2022—and their tech investment priorities for this year. Here are three points execs made that stuck with me.HF

While we’re here: Check out the rest of our 2023 CES coverage.



Reader poll: Consumer-tech edition

Reader poll: Consumer-tech edition Tetra Images/Getty Images

Last week, with the consumer-tech bonanza that is CES in full swing, we checked in with all of you on your appetite for new tech in 2023.

Let’s dig in: Nearly one-third (32%) of our ~1,500 respondents said that compared to last year, they plan to spend less on new tech purchases in 2023.

  • Nearly the same share (31%) said they plan to spend the same, while one-quarter (25%) said they expect to spend more.
  • The remaining 13% said IDK.

Big picture: 2021 was the boomiest of boom times for the tech world, but the times, they are a-changed, and now consumer tech heavyweights from Samsung to Lenovo are facing headwinds driven by inflation and interest rate hikes.

One example…In Q3 of 2022, PC shipments declined by nearly 20%—the PC market’s biggest drop in more than two decades, per Gartner.

And another…IDC estimated that smartphone shipments fell 9% in 2022, although it still anticipates a  ~3% recovery this year.—DM

The week’s poll: Do you think generative AI is a fad or a revolutionary technology?

Somewhere in between IDK


image of rolled up dollar bills over and over Francis Scialabba

Stat: Black startup founders accounted for just 1% of all venture investment in 2022, per Crunchbase data reported by TechCrunch.

Quote: “The structural trends are still so strong that we are still predicting a healthy growth for ASML.”—ASML CFO Roger Dassen, to Emerging Tech Brew

Read: MIT Tech Review’s 10 breakthrough technologies for 2023.


  • Microsoft is reportedly considering an investment of $10 billion in OpenAI as part of a deal with terms that would include the tech giant receiving 75% of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups that investment, per Semafor.
  • Apple reportedly plans to debut its VR headset this spring and begin shipping units by the fall.
  • John Deere signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Farm Bureau Federation that “ensures farmers have the right to repair their own farm equipment.”
  • Batteries were all the rage at CES 2023.
  • China’s regulatory techlash may be coming to an end after more than two years of government scrutiny.
  • The FAA proposed a requirement that passenger and cargo airplanes add “5G C-band-tolerant” radio altimeters or approved filters to their planes by early next year. Reminder: Radio altimeters are the piece of technology at the heart of the airline-telco 5G spats that started this time last year.


For an innovation leaderboard: Samsung topped a list of companies ranked by the number of patents granted to them by the US last year.

For an emissions update: US CO2 emissions ticked up last year despite climate momentum, per preliminary estimates from the Rhodium Group.


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Written by Grace Donnelly, Hayden Field, and Dan McCarthy

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