In the face of an impending global pandemic, we have seen a surge in the use of certain technologies and a sharp reduction in the use of many others. Globally, e-hailing cab applications, for instance, have had a deep in their fortunes. At the beginning of the year 2020, Uber (NYSE:UBER) stock had a strong start with a 22% gain in January then went on to as far as nearly 40% In February. However, following the coronavirus fears, Uber stock fell more than 10% on March 16.
On the other side, there has been a huge jump in the demand for some other services applications that encourage an indoor lifestyle. In this writeup, we look at a few of those winner applications.
With the shut down of schools at all levels, churches and cancellation of HR trainings, and other short courses; edtech applications come to the rescue. However, those who will immediately be able to pivot their training and learning operations will be those who have had a bit of investment in such platforms before the shutdown. Schools who already has a form of MOOC platform in place could continue having lectures, give assignments, conduct examinations and generally keep their system afloat. School Management Solutions (SMSs) who have had a prior deployment to schools and HR teams at this point will have the benefit of this period. A good example of an Edtech app is the Google Classroom.
Agrotech Investment Platforms
The global economy is already experiencing a deep. In the United States, the Dow Jones had had a 10% dive at the onset of the coronavirus in the country, the worst since 1987. Small businesses like restaurants, mall-shops, commodity suppliers and retailers are unable to work and are the worst hit. However, the demand for food items will surge. Investment aggregation platforms for agriculture like ReQuid, FarmCrowdy, Forkvest etc will see a huge demand on their units as investors will see these as less risk intensive, short term investment options.
In the event of enforced social distancing, banks will close down, cash transactions will also be heavily discouraged because of possible infections made possible by widely circulating cash notes. So, e-banking will be the way to go. Most banks already have well aggregated mobile applications that enables users to carry out quite a few operations. A city shutdown might just spur you to more cashless transactions.
Taking a note from economies that have experienced shutdown at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, shutdown across the country results in people more people working from home, thus e-commerce firms, especially in the consumer durables space have seen a huge spike in both volume and value of orders. We expect that this will also be the experience in the Nigerian eCommerce space with players such as Jumia, Konga and Jiji vamping up sales.
With the success of the eCommerce apps comes the gains of the payment applications. Local web payment systems like interswitch webpay, paystack, voguepay etc will have more business volume across platforms they are integrated with.
Delivery Logistics Apps
During the coronavirus crisis in China, food-related networks grew. There are millions of restaurants open for business in the United States but the new government rules made them unable to let customers through the doors—hence delivery is the only option for generating revenue. In the same vein, homerun businesses and many executives that work from home will require basic delivery solutions.
Delivery services with nimble and effective apps will leverage this time.
Voice and Text app
Text and voice applications like Whatsapp, Zoom, Skype have seen a surge in their uses. Simply because most people are either self-quarantined or social distancing, movements are limited, most business conversations, meetings and training will be conducted on mobile applications. Premium service offers on these apps will surge and many new temporary jobs will be created. A new guy on the block in this service area is Sasai, a Southern African app that combines social messaging with the mobile money payments system.
OTT Platform Provider Apps
Since many are now indoors, we expect a surge in the subscription to Video-on-demand applications. Netflix, Iroko, Ibaka, showmax, and the newcomers like airtel-tv will record higher than usual streaming time on their applications. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, 2020,
Online media streaming is forecasted to rise during the current Covid-19 crisis which is forcing the public in many countries to self-isolate. The impact on streaming services will force platform providers and media buyers to adjust their business strategies respectively, due to the predicted streaming rise of 60% during the current global coronavirus pandemic.
Web and Mobile Games Apps
In China, during the shutdown, smartphone users downloaded a record number of games and other apps as the deadly coronavirus confined tens of millions of people to their homes, in a boost to the $150bn global games industry. In the first week of February 2020, more than 222m downloads were recorded in China through Apple’s online store. With the closure of schools at all levels in Nigeria, we envisage a similar pattern amongst the over 80 million mobile internet users in the country.