Start-ups see disruption ahead amid COVID-19 scare

Start-ups see disruption ahead amid COVID-19 scare

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As the raging COVID-19 has been impacting the global businesses, startups too are reeling under uncertainty, with most start-ups facing issues like funding, supply/demand disruptions and operational suspension due to quarantines, travel restrictions, people working from home, cancellation of conferences and so on.

Mumbai-based start-up, The Wedding Brigade, this week has seen a 50% fall in services leads as compared to last week. Sanna Vohra, CEO and Founder of the company, mentions, “People are not willing to plan a wedding or start planning a wedding in terms of uncertainty. All of our functions and events of March have been postponed and we are expecting April functions to be postponed as well.”

Most start-ups agree that there is an undercurrent of disquietude in terms of funding and revenues.

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Certain FDI deals which were through, says Rahul Rastogi, Co-Founder and CEO, Agatsa, have been stalled because the travels and meetings have been stopped and the paperwork cannot be completed remotely.

Dheeraj Jain, Founder, Redcliffe Life Sciences remarks that the discussion on new fund raise is definitely not as aggressive as earlier. 

“Start-ups which are in the middle or beginning of their fund-raising cycle have been impacted the most as everything comes to a sudden halt. Those with short runway for cash balance left are stressed out the most. There has been a huge impact on supplies and products being sourced from China,” says K Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur, GrowthStory.

Start-ups in sectors like personal hygiene, online groceries, on the other hand, are seeing a major demand. Since the first positive case of COVID-19 broke out in India, personal hygiene and wellness start-up Pee Safe has witnessed a 4x increase in orders. “We have been getting positive responses for fund raising. Investors are looking to invest money into the hygiene sector even more than before,” says Vikas Bagaria, Founder, Pee Safe.

Euler Motor’s electric 3-wheeler Cargo, which is being used by e-commerce and hyperlocal companies in their last-mile logistics, has seen a 170-200% increase in demand in the last 20 days. “We are seeing a pattern of individuals stocking daily food/supplies leading to a massive surge in both order volume and quantity. This, in turn, has led to an increase in demand for our logistics fleet to support last-mile delivery to the end consumer,” the company said.