As President Kennedy famously said “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.” Although Kennedy was somewhat mistaken in his interpretation of the Chinese word for ‘Crisis’ there is real truth in the concept behind his 1961 speech. There is an opportunity in every crisis and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity can be.

Of course, we all realise how difficult COVID-19 will be for many sectors. The hit on consumer spending and confidence will of course have an impact and we are well aware of that. But even in the worst hit industries there will be opportunities that open up. Out of the doom and gloom of the 2008 financial crisis for instance, we saw companies such as Uber and Airbnb founded. It is these asset light technology companies that can continue growing when other sectors of the economy are in stagnation.

That is why at Fuel Ventures we will continue investing through Covid-19 especially in companies that are growing despite the challenges. We do not see the current climate as a blocker to growth but as an opportunity in itself. Below are a selection of companies from the Fuel Ventures portfolio where we see this opportunity.

If you’d like more information on any of the companies below, please email jack@fuel.ventures

Onbuy

The current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a volatile and ever-changing market, however OnBuy has shown that they are a robust company and able to stay dynamic. OnBuy is a dependable source at this time; by staying operational, they are allowing their retailers to keep their businesses afloat, protecting their income and jobs, and supporting their customers who need to buy things from the safety of their home. We are a vital platform to both sellers and buyers. At OnBuy, we will continue to weather the current crisis and with the planned diversification into over 140 countries, we can be confident that we will remain robust and weather any other crises in future. Onbuy has grown at an atonsighing rate over the last two years, achieving 5X YoY growth. That has made it the fastest growing marketplace in the UK and now the largest UK founded marketplace in the country. Unsurprisingly, during the Covid crisis consumers have turned to Onbuy and as a result they have seen a record revenue months in Feb and March.

Feel

 

WeAreFeel is a health subscription box. With the majority of people at home we have seen a meaningful pick-up in demand for our services, with people increasingly focused on their health and ease of access to products, both of which we can solve for. We witness an unprecedented boost in an already rapidly growing market of health products, making it one of the most in-demand categories (well-being, immunity, mental health).

Our model proves to be resilient in the crisis felt by offline and classic retailers. WeAreFeel is perfectly aligned to thrive in the current situation and long-term environment, especially with our contactless letterbox delivery.

Since launching their new vitamin in November 2019, monthly recurring revenues (MRR) have grown over 800%. Furthermore, month on month MRR growth has averaged 75%.

Capdesk

 

Capdesk is an equity management software that helps companies manage their captables and complete secondary transactions of it’s shares. They are expecting some trends to emerge out of the global pandemic which might open up further opportunities. More companies will be doing secondary transactions, as cash is going to be more important and investors are looking for safer investments. More companies will be setting up employee share plans as cash efficient remuneration alternatives falter in hard times. Also, they do not expect their US competitors to be entering Europe anytime soon, as they will have their hands full in their local markets which gives them time to gain more market share. You see so much positive thinking!

Distributed

Distributed ensures customers can have their software projects delivered by globally distributed teams as easy as they do when working with in-house teams. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has seen the world, ‘go remote’, and has forced many companies into exploring new ways of working. We’re seeing a growing demand for the anti-fragility that distributed teams and the distributed platform provides, whether it’s companies seeking a business continuity or team augmentation solution, the future of work may or may not be remote, but the need for more flexible, less fragile staffing solutions is now apparent.

TutorHouse

 

Tutor House is an automated marketplace for one-one tutoring and group learning. Although the Coronavirus crisis has affected a huge number of businesses worldwide, Tutorhouse have responded by opening up their unique online learning platform for all users, be that children learning the UK curriculum, (KS2/KS3) teenagers preparing for their A-levels or adults wanting to learn Italian from home. Throughout March they have seen a surge in online tutoring requests and an increase in demand for online group classes for kids - as they are now all at home with their parents for the foreseeable future. In the past few weeks they have had requests for online tutoring from countries all over the world, as well as schools, education providers and international education advisors. This has led to considerable interest from investors, who see the online education space as a solid and sustainable platform for the years to come.

Yello Games

 

Yello is moving from strength to strength, even amidst the current global pandemic as many are spending more time at home and this is creating an amazing opportunity for Yello and the amazing cross-platform games that it offers. Unlike many industries, the gaming industry is one that stands to benefit from many around the world having more time on their hands and for Yello, as a game developer and distribution platform, this means more users playing our games, the amazing games from our partners and also many more of our partner platforms wanting the amazing content that only Yello can provide.

With Coronavirus gripping the world, Yello has since started its expansion into China, started to make its first moves into Africa and India and has now positioned itself and it's platform perfectly to start delivering high-quality games to platforms and users across the globe. With new opportunities arising, with the potential distribution of their current and future games to kids platforms to aid with learning and more, Yello is at the forefront of a fast-growing Global industry and is able to adapt well to what is for many, a very volatile time across global markets.

Michael Hudson the CEO of Yello Games commented "With the Coronavirus outbreak it is sad to see many businesses struggling across the globe, but if Yello can play its part to bring the world together through amazing cross-platform games, playable across devices, across platforms and for free, then I and the Yello team will keep working hard to make sure we provide the world with the fun that everybody needs in these tough times"

Thanks for reading. If you’d like more information on any of the companies mentioned here please email jack@fuel.ventures

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