Perspectives

Tech unicorns and COVID-19

Thrive: Inside versus outside unicorns

The pandemic has drawn a sharp distinction between “inside” and “outside” technology companies, with a unique impact on unicorns.

Inside and outside tech unicorns

COVID-19 has revealed two distinct species of tech unicorns—inside and outside companies. Post-pandemic, we see a probable permanent shift in favor of inside unicorns.

There are three phases in how societies globally will likely react to the virus, with implications for inside and outside tech unicorns.

Phase one: Rolling global lockdowns since the onset of COVID-19 until now. This phase favors inside unicorns consequent to shifting consumer habits.

Phase two: Less restrictive, with phased reopening and continued protective measures. Inside companies will continue to be advantaged and the outside companies disadvantaged—however, to a relatively reduced extent compared to phase one.

Phase three: Things will return to pre-pandemic levels to an extent, albeit not fully. By this point, unicorns of both types will have adopted inside/outside ways of thinking when introducing or developing new business models.

It is likely that we will see more platform companies take a closer look at introducing business models that—while taking advantage of the core business and platform—also help to diversify the company’s revenue streams.

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