Since the outbreak in December 2019, COVID-19 or coronavirus has had a domino effect on tech giants like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Tesla, and Google that all have decided to temporarily shut down their factories, stores and administrative offices in China. Google even thought a step ahead and shut down its facilities in Taiwan.
The industrial shutdown was supposed to last until the first week of February. However, officials sent a note to all factory administrators to wait until March. Factories are still padlocked, with the exception of a few local factories that are encouraged by some parts of China that have gradually downgraded their emergency levels.
Thus, in just two months after the coronavirus outbreak, the global stock market lost $6 trillion, according to Bloomberg.
Lockdowns as an Opportunity
In China, Korea, Iran and Italy, the countries with the highest number of cases, lockdowns have been insulating cities and towns to keep the virus from spreading. Rather indirectly, this situation made tech startups like Zoom Video earn $200 million. While being locked at home, more people are using video conferencing apps to communicate. The California-based startup gained 2.2 million users in 2020, which is more than it gained in the entire of 2019.
Whether during lockdowns or voluntarily, students staying at home around the world could also explain why the sales of Virginia-based online schooling startup K12 jumped by 19% last week, earning $5 million.
An opportunity for home entertainment companies is also hovering between the coronavirus risks. BMO Capital Markets reported that Netflix’s shares rose by 0.8% in the same week that saw $6 trillion go down the drain. BMO, which is also the investment banking subsidiary of Canadian Bank of Montreal, sees potential in companies like Facebook, Amazon and Slack who might as well benefit from the quarantining of entire communities before it’s over.
The coronavirus outbreak is still on the loose, and increasingly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eight countries (four of which are Middle Eastern; Jordan, Morocco, KSA, Tunisia) reported cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours that passed the report published on March 3rd.
“The increase of COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is of great concern.” World health organization report, 3rd of March, 2019
While doctors and civilians in the Middle East prepare and shield against the coronavirus, could this prompt new revenue streams for tech startups in the region?
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