Nimble tech startups find ways to navigate the pandemic

From remote data-center commissioning to strengthened e-commerce, some tech startups and their investors find opportunity in the COVID-19 global economic disruption.

Nimble tech startups find ways to navigate the pandemic
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The economic devastation of the global COVID-19 pandemic has many businesses fighting for survival, but dealing with chaos and uncertainty comes with the territory for a certain category of business: Startups.

They thrive on disruption (or at least that’s the message they pitch to investors), but is the lean, move-fast-and-break-things model one that can survive global disruptions?

Unlike retail, travel, and tourism that have been hammered by the downturn, data-center and networking businesses have fared better, with some such as teleconferencing seeing spikes in demand.

Other networking sectors, however, haven’t done as well. Recent data from Synergy Research Group finds that the Ethernet switch and router markets fell to a seven-year low in Q1 2020. Meanwhile, several incumbents, including HP, IBM, and Dell, have announced layoffs, restructuring, and/or hiring freezes.

In contrast, for operationally lean startups unencumbered by legacy support constraints, networking startups have some advantages. As virtualization of everything has accelerated during pandemic quarantine, networking and data-center startups find themselves positioned in fast-growth market niches and discovering more opportunities, less competition, and an abundance of available talent.

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