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From Downturn to Development: How Startups Have Responded & Innovated Through COVID-19
Aug 5, 2020
By David J. Blumberg, founder & managing partner, Blumberg Capital
When Apple debuted its slogan ‘think different’ in 1997, it was a rallying cry for defying the status quo and challenging the norm.
Now, in mid 2020, the slogan has renewed relevance.
We’re in the midst of a crisis unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Recent data reveals that the many countries are in or on the brink of recession. The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging all of us to think different and find innovative solutions to new problems.
Five months into this crisis, we are incredibly proud of the entrepreneurs leading our portfolio companies – even those in severely impacted industries – who have demonstrated resiliency and adaptability. They are rising to the challenge by innovating and launching initiatives that move their company, industry and communities forward.
Supporting industry progress
Over the past few months, leaders from our portfolio companies have stepped up to help solve problems in their own unique and diverse ways in response to this global economic crisis.
A few examples include:
- EasyKnock’s new nonprofit, The Stay Mission was created to help families stay in their homes who have experienced financial hardship due to the crisis.
- WorkJam launched ExpressPay to allow employees to draw a portion of their earned income in advance of their payday without transaction charges. The technology enables workers to receive ‘same day’ direct deposits into their bank account.
- Lendio facilitated more than $8B in PPP loans from the SBA to more than 100,000 small businesses by partnering with almost 400 bank and non-bank lenders across the country. Lendio helped simplify the process and enabled many underbanked small business owners to survive and even thrive. Watch video.
- Wunder Mobility partnered with the World Economic Forum to launch #WeAllMove, a mobility information hub with flexible transport options for frontline workers.
We’re also proud that we’ve remained active investors and have announced four new and eight follow-on investments since March. We’re energized by the founders and teams at these companies, including: Angle Health, Ferrum Health, WorkJam, Easyknock, Yotpo, BioCatch, Hunters.ai, Cybellum, Jassby, and SQream Technologies who raised rounds despite the pandemic. These companies are innovating within their respective industries – digital healthcare, workflow automation, real estate, e-commerce, cybersecurity, fintech, mobility and supply chain – and have been buoyed by the accelerated adoption of the virtual enterprise model.
The great reset
The founders and teams of our portfolio companies present a constant reminder of the impressive resilience, persistence and ability to lead by the motto ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’.
While the coronavirus has disrupted the world, it is also an important reset. It’s an opportunity for all entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas and strategically pivot their approaches to emerge stronger on the other side.