Startups Vs Covid19: How Startups Are Lending Helping Hand During the Crisis
Countries around the world are joining hands and showing their willingness to fight a war against a common enemy, COVID19. As 20% of the global population is under lockdown, there is no doubt that it hits the global economy more than one can imagine.
“In the USA, a total of 3,283,000 people applied for jobless benefits between March 15 and 22, rising from 281,000 the previous week.”
As unemployment claims soar for those working in the service industry, and industries in which working remotely is not possible, a non-profit startup, Upsolve recently cited its first case of bankruptcy because of Coronavirus.
According to former Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha, India's economic growth can decline by as high as 2 percentage points in the next financial year because of lockdown and coronavirus pandemic.
But there is always an upside to everything, and no one can deny the positive impact it is having on the online startup ecosystem. Internet usage has increased to a record high.
Parents are buying online courses to keep their children busy. Companies are exploring remote working and using various softwares to keep a tab on their employees.
An idea that was rolled out by Flipkart exec Mekin Maheshwari, “Founders vs COVID-19” is a group of 600 plus members including stakeholders from the technology industry, healthcare sector, government, and the social sector. From building mobile applications to targeted communications for COVID literacy in multiple languages, the group is offering a wide range of solutions.
Besides this, there are many startups that are lending a helping hand to small businesses and other startups during these tough times. I’m listing a few such COVID-19 responses of startups I came across.
Inspired by the “Leading Boldly” campaign launched in the US, Melanie Parker, the founder of Canva, is now leading a #StoptheSpread campaign in Australia.
In an open letter on Medium, she urges her fellow business leaders to join hands in this fight and be kind and supportive to their teams. She also asked them to help those in need and extend a helping hand to the struggling ventures in these testing times.
Besides this, they are rolling out free pre-made templates to help businesses create and share well-informed safety and health announcements from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The most important factor in combating COVID-19 is awareness. Therefore, the businesses that are enlisted as “essential business” need to circulate proactive communication to maintain confidence amongst people that they are open and safe.
To help businesses do exactly this, like Canva, InVideo has come up with a range of free coronavirus communication video templates.
From awareness to business-related videos, they have a wide range of templates to pick from. Their easy-to-use interface can help businesses create multiple videos quickly within minutes.
What does your morning routine include these days? You open your phone and check the tracker to see how many cases they have reported in your country.
Rejolut has created a common man tracker for India and its simple UI has made it one of the most-followed and authentic trackers. They also plan to add district-wise data.
One sufferer because of lockdown is the salesman whose major chunk of earning depends upon the business they are bringing to the company.
Pitch.Link is a remote buyer seller engagement tool and feels the helplessness of millions of sales people sitting at home. To ease the pain and also to ensure that the economic engine for the world keeps humming - transaction being the core of all business - PitchLink has opened up its doors to salespeople all over the world with a 60 day free full featured account amidst the lockdown.
There will be no limitations of features or support and Pitch.Link will assist communication and conversation between the buyer and seller in a zero interruption asynchronous manner offering full privacy to both parties.
With the simplicity of spreadsheets, integrations with best business APIs, and functionality of databases, Stackby gives the businesses flexibility to build their customized work tools with no prior knowledge of coding.
They have recently announced their initiative to help those who are fighting a war against COVID-19. StackBy has rolled out lifetime access of Stackby business plan for 2 users for NGOs and Nonprofits that are extending help or providing relief to the people affected by COVID-19.
Another great initiative to help brick-and-mortar businesses that are forced to close their doors for an uncertain amount of time, AppSumo has launched a $1M Software Fund.
The company is working with 16 of their partners and are providing free software to physical businesses to help them go digital. Many of the products are offering a year-long free subscription while some are giving away lifetime free access.
Education is another sector that is hit badly by COVID-19. What adds to the dilemma of students and parents is the fact that no one knows when the lockdown situation will be over?
Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan, has come forward to help fix the situation.
The company is giving K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) schools free video conferencing tools so that the education of students does not suffer in the lockdown situation.
They say, “Together is a wonderful place to be.” And if we want to see a world with zero COVID-19 cases, we need to work together.
Businesses be it a corporate giant or a small startup are always fighting to capture the market, but these testing times have shed a beautiful light on the human side of the business world.
The competing giants have understood one thing well that if we want to go far, we need to sail these stormy waters together.