Startups that take glory under COVID-19

During the harsh nation-wide lockdown that came into effects in U.K earlier this year, there were stories of success around.



Samuel Huber, a London-based entrepreneur, found Admix in 2017. this in-play advertising and game monetization platform is his solution to low revenue-generating ang bothersome gaming ads, hoping that it will replace AR and VR games. Huber’s idea to integrate messaging within a game wasn’t new it just hadn’t taken off because the ad industry hadn’t yet taken gaming seriously.

Now, they don’t have a choice. Huber says 1.5B people, almost half of the connected population, play games every day.

Under pandemic COVID-19, demand for home entertainment and gaming was growing fast, which helped Huber get $8.5M in venture capital. Rather than played it safe, Huber doubled down. He cancled plans to open a new office in New York, but went on hiring. He focused on fundamentals rather than expansion.

Admix is now in the advantage position to take greater market share, given gaming forcast to overtake social media and television, and ad spend estimated at over $128B las year, with growth of 16%. For this reason, Admix could be the next unicorn of U.K.

And what is Huber’s advice? Assessing and accepting the new market conditions quickly and capitalize on it, as he said.

Archive Valley

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Photo: Entrepreneur

Melanie Rozencwajg, a Paris-based entrepreneur, set up Archive Valley 3 years ago, and in February this year, she realized that her company was in a turning point.

The digital platform connects production companies and studios with small and large archives and researchers. The problem that struggled Archive Valley is pricing model. Clients were charged per transaction, and with so many people working on a single footage request, biling each of them was a complex work.

Rozencwajg decided to change the model. “With the lockdown, everything fell into place,” she said. “We didn’t do sales, but it was really healthy for the business because we looked inwards and recalibrated.”

Given greater interest in factual content, propelled by Netflix and the pandemic, documentary production surged.

The business shifted to a simplified, annual flat fee eliminating hours of admin for Archive Valley. When business came roaring back, a result of skyrocketing demand for content; the startup enjoyed a 25% increase in sales over a 6-month period. The company also hosted webinars to strengthen its international community of freelance researchers.

Archive Valley’s success story is largely down to Rozencwajg’s approach during the tumultuous period of lockdown. Her advice: To utilize downturns to examine the core business.

Charged Up/Cleaned Up

Photo: appsppl

ChargedUp is cofound by Hugo Tilmouth and Charlie Baron, London-based entrepreneurs. Its is a portable phone charging service allowing subscribers to pick up a charger in one location and return it to another. The problem is, their busisness model applied mostly to bars, restaurants, malls, concert and sports arenas – which were forced to close in March.

They decided to do something to overcome the hardship. After three days brainstorming, they came up with an idea of turning their phone charging banks into sanitizing stations, forming their new business, CleandUp.

The quick turnaround helped them close a deal with Transport for London.

“We pitched them early on because we’d been talking to them for a long while with Charged Up. We thought they’d go with some large cleaning company, but they phoned us on a Thursday saying they’d just gotten the call that to reopen the tube stations 10 days later and could we deliver by then. Somehow, we managed to deliver 1800 units across every tube station in London by the deadline, allowing them to reopen. That really gave us credibility. We were a 2-month old business in the sanitizer space. Then the deals really started to roll for us”, Tilmouth said.

The cofounders said that coming up with a product for their existing customer base helped them secure sales easily.


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