The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer and workforce behaviors in ways that are accelerating certain market trends, escalating the importance of some technologies, and positioning specific sectors for long-term growth. Shelter-in-place guidelines have disproportionately affected in-person industries like travel and hospitality, while spurring massive growth in quarantine-friendly industries like video communications and e-commerce.
As leads of Citi Ventures' investing team, we’re constantly in contact with our colleagues to discuss trends we’re seeing, point out opportune investment areas, and share best practices for investing during this unique time. Through those conversations, we have identified five key investment categories that are likely to see strong tailwinds from these structural shifts:
This creates opportunities on both the infrastructure side and the application side to build products that improve how governments engage financially with their citizens, offer better services to 1099 contract workers, enhance employer-driven financial services, and provide more flexible contactless payment options.
The redefined office density required for health and safety, coupled with the increase in WFH, is likely to drive unique opportunities in both brokerage and lending for commercial real estate. In the Netherlands, commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield has created the Six Feet Office concept to show what a socially distant workplace might look like.
While these are only a handful of categories that we expect to flourish moving forward, it is important to note the uncertainty around what the pandemic will bring in the future and how it will affect industries worldwide. It is important that investors keep a close eye on both the legacy and emerging industries that have been successful throughout the pandemic and plan their investments accordingly.