A handful of technology companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Zoom have benefited from coronavirus pandemic.
But major losers from the pandemic include the ride hailing apps Uber, Grab (in South East Asia), Ola (India) and Didi Chuxing (China), as people are not taking taxis.
Office sharing businesses such as WeWork are also in trouble with virtually no occupancy, while a similar situation is occurring in the accommodation sector to companies such as Airbnb and Oyo. Airbnb has recently been raising high cost investment and its proposed listing this year is now highly unlikely.
But as with the build up to the dot-com bubble, an abundance of venture capital funding has encouraged investors to make bets on the next Google or Amazon. The difference between the struggling start-ups and those giants is that they may look like technology businesses, but they have merely used new technology to disrupt existing industries – Uber for taxis, WeWork for office rental and Airbnb accommodation booking. These markets will remain very competitive in the longer term meaning low margins and low returns, and consumers may keep shopping around. There is likely to be a reduction in investment in technology start-ups, making investors more choosy. We can expect more consolidation in the months ahead.