ECONOMY

Startuppers feeling upbeat

startuppers-feeling-upbeat

Despite the ongoing health crisis, a number of enterprises are optimistic about what 2021 may hold. A recent ICAP survey showed that while five out of 10 enterprises expect their turnover this year to be smaller than in 2019, they still consider it will be an improvement on 2020.

Corporate projections point to a turnover expansion this year, by an average rate of 10% from 2020, a development expected to be felt across all economic sectors.

A large share of the optimistic companies regarding the year’s outlook are startups; after developing the technological tools, they have broadly managed to immunize themselves against the impact of the pandemic.

A poll conducted in the context of innovation platform Found.ation’s fair in September showed that Greek startuppers remain mostly optimistic about 2021, with their investors also sharing that view.

Regarding the effect the pandemic has had on the operation of their businesses, there was a wide range of answers as certain local startups – in spite of their technological orientation – were unable to dodge the impact of the coronavirus bullet on several economic sectors, such as tourism.

For example, Welcome Pickups saw its labor force shrink between February and May, and real estate startup Blueground saw its staff slip from 483 in February to 399 in May, according to data in the Found.ation report.

On the other hand there were many startups that enjoyed investor support. Such was the case with online ferry ticket booking company Ferryhopper, which raised 2.6 million euros last June. GuestFlip, a startup which allows hotels to monitor guest feedback online, was acquired in November by the Travelbook Group.

According to the Found.ation report, about 30% of startuppers polled said the impact of Covid-19 on their business had been quite small, against two in 10 that said the opposite. Half of the respondents said the pandemic had had little to no effect on them.

A great number of startups have shown particular flexibility in the face of the changes brought on by this crisis, with over 60% saying they have already expanded to new markets and adjusted their products to the requirements of the new reality.