Venture Capital: Corona Launches Some Asian Businesses on a New Growth Trajectory
VCs and private equity players are on the hunt for these gems.
The coronavirus has delivered unexpected benefits for some businesses. Social distancing norms and country-wide lockdowns have given a boost to remote working. Companies in the health tech sector such as telemedicine and online pharmacies are seeing new interest and rapid growth. Not surprisingly, private investors are on the prowl, looking to get in on these Asian gems at bargain-basement valuations. (NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW)
Boom times for enterprise services
In a sign of the coronavirus times, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become the ‘go-to’ remote collaboration tools for workers across the globe.
Over the last week, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has picked up 12 million new daily users. That’s a surge of nearly 38% on its previous user base of 32 million.
Zoom Video (NASDAQ: ZM) is laughing to the bank. It has converted over a fifth of its user base into the premium video conferencing version.
Remote working apps
According to Joshua Agusta, director of Mandiri Capital, the global use of remote working and online education apps has spiked after the coronavirus outbreak. The firm is the corporate venture capital arm of Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri. Customers are lapping up the premium versions, or free users are rapidly converting to paid subscriptions, said Agusta.
Moreover, with social distancing becoming the new normal, Agusta feels media companies and content platforms could receive fresh growth impetus.
SaaS and cloud services
An unexpected beneficiary of the coronavirus and the resultant surge in the ‘work-from-home’ model is Mekari, a mobile app that tracks the attendance of employees working remotely.
Demand surges for edtech
Students and stuck-at-home people are seeing the fresh value in retraining themselves and acquiring new skills. E-learning videos are an excellent tool and Indonesian startup Zenius has, therefore, started to offer free access to about 8,000 of these videos. Zenius CEO Rohan Monga said the app was seeing excellent traction, and that his team was doing all it could to prevent the app from crashing due to the surge in traffic.
Online pharmacies and telemedicine are especially attractive currently to VCs and investors. Fundnel, a platform that facilitates investment by accredited persons in private companies at a pre-IPO stage, observes that there is a sharp spike in investor interest in health-tech businesses post-coronavirus.
Moreover, China’s Ping An Good Doctor recently reported exponential growth in the usage of its platform, with cumulative visits hitting 1.1 billion.
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