94% of VC-backed startups are going to survive the next six months, according to a survey by Paris startup campus Station F, which polled investors about the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Station F asked some 100 investment funds about the startups in their portfolio over the month of May. 

While nine out of every 10 startups said they’ve been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic one way or another, most have adapted to the changing context very quickly, says Roxanne Varza, Station F’s director.

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“The main lesson from this survey is the immense agility that startups were able to demonstrate through the crisis,” Varza says. “It’s a solid ecosystem that’s made changes, but really hasn’t been shaken up to the point of in-depth soul-searching.”

The survey covers about 1,000 companies across Europe — in France, Germany and the UK — as well as in the US and Israel, with a slight over-representation of seed-stage and SaaS (software as a service) startups relative to other categories.

Here are the 10 key data takeaways:

  • There’s no field of corpses. Less than 6% of startups say they’re likely to shut down in the coming six months as a result of the crisis.
% of startups planning to stop their business in the coming six months.
  • 80% of startups had some sort of pivot. The most common decisions involved changing the go-to market strategy (advertising, sales approach…). Less than 20% went so far as to pivot entirely to serve a new market, and only 16% launched a new offer.
% of startups that implemented these changes as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Yes, startups cut costs. 60% shrank marketing and communications expenses, while the share of companies that reduced customer service budgets was more limited (14%).
% of startups that cut these budgets.
  • And there were firings. 24% of startups polled used some form of temporary unemployment, while about 17% implemented firings since the beginning of coronavirus. That number was significantly higher in Germany than in other countries, including the US.
% of startups that implemented firings.
  • Travel and mobility took a hit. As investors make their bets on who the winners and losers of the Covid-19 will be, it’s no surprise to see travel and mobility on the side of things being more complicated. Those two sectors had to resort to firings more than other businesses.
% of startups that had to resort to firings in these sectors.
  • But startups aren’t pulling back on international expansion. Almost half are maintaining plans to expand into new markets intact despite the Covid-19 crisis.
How startups are changing their plans for international expansion.
% of startups planning to hire these types of profiles.
  • Going full-remote isn’t catching on. Less than 10% of startups are planning to implement remote work for all employees. The rest are deploying work from home schemes of course, albeit looking forward to regaining at least some real-life time in the office.
% of startups planning to implement these changes in organising work.
  • Startups are raising money now. Fundraising rounds were delayed for 40% of startups during the crisis. That’s roughly the percentage of companies that are trying to tap investors for money now, albeit less so in France than in other countries.
% of startups currently raising money, by country.
  • Government support did help. More than half the startups polled got some money from government through grants or loans, while 23% tapped furlough support. Looking forward, heavily hit sectors like tourism and mobility still need some firefighting from policymakers, but it makes sense for bailouts to become more limited — and the ecosystem can handle it, Varza says.
% of startups that use these forms of government support (or not).

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Robmb
Robmb

Or Rich fools who have little idea how to build a real business willing to pile more cash into lost causes. See Hambro Perks as prime example.