Time to change – how savvy startups are transforming in a COVID-19 world

by | April 29, 2020

Startups vs COVID-19 (Vol. 02) – While the world is gradually reopening businesses after the shutdown, many sectors fear the demand to remain suppressed, some don’t expect to “return to normal” until next year at the earliest, if ever. A virus has reset the game for everybody, but here is how a number of savvy startup teams in Germany, Sweden, the UK and Canada are shaping this new normality:

Since the pandemic began, the women’s intimates label has seen sales spike across its entire product portfolio, recording growth of 25% over the same period last year. Forced to move its warehouse sale online, KNIX quickly sold five times more inventory than the previous year. While pivoting from off- to online, founder Joanna Griffiths and her team were also driving the KNIX’ GoFundMe campaign to donate medical equipment to those in need. Status quo: C$200,000, 15,000 masks and 15,000 gloves delivered to frontline workers and homeless shelters.

Maple, CAN
2,500 consults and 550 COVID-19 screenings per day with <1h wait time – this is how Maple’s virtual care platform is supporting Canadians and the national healthcare system by giving access to medical advice – 24/7, safe from home. Meanwhile, Shoppers Drug Mart – Canada’s largest drug store retailer – partnered with the Toronto-based Maple to bring patients online and to take some of the burden off the national health care system.

elder, UK
Amid increasing concerns about the residential care sector’s vulnerability to the spread of coronavirus, the live-in specialist elder Ltd. is seeing a 50% rise in inquiries both from families with dependent relatives and carers themselves. To meet the demand, elder’s founder Peter Dowds is now boosting its national network and the number of staff in UK, mobilising all possible resources for its in-home care service for the elderly.

Linas Matkasse, SWE
Acceleration in online grocery shopping amid lockdowns: While most sectors are facing steep losses, the number of new customers for the meal-kit pioneer from the Nordics has almost tripled. Many older people have contacted the company to learn how to shop online, says Linas Matkasse’s CEO Walker Kinman. To meet the high demand, Linas has allocate resources to resolve challenges along the supply chain and to avoid wait times.

momox, GER
Corona might be a growth driver for the circular economy: Europe’s leading re-commerce platform momox benefits by people cleaning out their closets during the lockdowns and ordering more second-hand fashion. Now the German-based pioneer is ready to invest in its fashion unit and to expand to France.

Sofatutor, GER
While German schools are ready to reopen to the “new normal”, the Berlin-based edutech platform Sofatutor is expecting a long-term shift to digital education: The number of registered Sofatutor users has almost tripled and meanwhile over 5,000 schools and institiutions are using its learning tutorials.

ArtNight, GER
Before the outbreak, more than 30.000 people were joining ArtNights, BakeNights and ShakeNights in more than 80 cities in Europe. Forced to cancel thousands of events, the edutainment platform pivoted from off- to online overnight, offering their workshops via zoom meetings and supporting their network of freelance artists and local bars.

Mambu, GER
Mambu’s composable banking approach has already kickstarted a whole wave of banking innovation that wouldn’t have been possible before. Not letting the crisis stop its global expansion, the fintech is now teaming up with TransferWise to empower customers to offer fast and transparent international money transfer.

Convelio, FR
“Digitize or die”- While the art market has seen volumes decrease by about 30%, the global logistics tech startup Convelio helps galleries, collectors and auction houses ship art via its digital-first platform and gives tips to move their business online. Just recently, Convelio’s founders Edouard and Clément have been named to the 2020’s Forbes “30 under 30” list in “Art & Culture”.

[to be continued]

Über Acton Capital Partners

Acton Capital Partners ist ein internationaler Wachstumsinvestor mit Sitz in München. Seit 1999 investiert das Acton-Team erfolgreich in digitale Pioniere in Europa und Nordamerika.

Investmentfokus liegt dabei auf skalierbaren Geschäftsmodellen aus den Bereichen Future of Work, Digitale Marktplätze und Plattformen, Ecommerce, FinTech sowie Software-as-a-Service.

Acton Capital Press Administrator


About Acton Capital
Since 1999, Acton Capital has invested in digital transformation worldwide with strong focus on Europe and North America. With more than two decades of investment experience and a deep understanding of tech-enabled business models, the team has invested over EUR 800+ million across six fund generations.



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