Covid-19 cases have spiked in the past week as the Omicron Variant spreads through the United States. Here in New York City, Covid positivity rates doubled in just three days, canceling broadway shows and postponing return to office days.
The return of winter has brought back memories of March 2020 when businesses were caught off-guard and many restaurants and small retailers were completely devastated, with many yet to recover. But this was not the case for all businesses, as the abrupt shift to remote work led to new opportunities for certain industries. The Org identifies some of the areas that were not only able to survive the pandemic – but accelerated as a result of it.
Data security breaches exposed a total of 18.8 billion records in the first half of 2021. As companies were forced to shift to a remote workplace, it became clear that many had weak security systems that made their employees vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks. In fact, cybersecurity crime has resulted in damages amounting to $6 trillion globally; if cybercrime was a nation, it would have the third-largest economy in the world.
Venture capitalists were quick to invest in the cybersecurity space, leading to record investments totaling an estimated $23 billion in 2021. Startups such as Transmit Security and Lacework both raised more than $500 million in their Series A, numbers which are almost unheard of in the past.
As people were cooped up in their homes, entertainment became a form of escape from what was happening in the real world. With the halt of live-action productions and the spike in demand for more television shows, the industry turned toward animators.
With visits to the doctor becoming almost impossible during the lockdowns, the telehealthcare space saw a huge uptake in patients. In fact, it is estimated that telehealth usage increased by more than 200% from pre-Covid times.
Venture funding into the telehealth space in the first half of 2021 reached $14.7 billion, surpassing total investments the space received in 2020 and tripling the amount it received in 2016.
Zoom classrooms have become a new normal for students of all ages and more companies are hoping to make sure that those students’ learning experiences are pleasant ones. Schools have adopted education technology at a record speed, and there is increasing pressure for educators to provide laptops or tablets to all their students.
Ed-tech startups broke records in 2020, raising $16.1 billion in venture capital worldwide, with China leading the market. Zuoyebang, a Chinese ed-tech company that offers online courses and homework help for kindergarten to 12th-grade students, raised a $1.6 billion Series E led by investors from Alibaba Group. Its main competitor, Yuanfudao, has raised funds totaling $4.1 billion.
With restaurants closed and supermarkets crowded, on-demand services have gained significant momentum through the pandemic. Food delivery companies have tripled in market value since 2017, increasing to $150 billion globally. Most significantly, at the end of last year, Uber acquired Postmates for $2.65 billion and DoorDash went public.
Instant grocery delivery services are also gaining traction, raking in over $10 billion from investors in 2021. 10-minute delivery services such as GoPuff managed to raise $1 billion in a Series H, and Jokr raised $170 million in a Series A led by prominent VCs, including GV Capital, Balderton Capital and Tiger Global.