Tekton Newsletter #2

July 2020 Edition

A message from the team

How the world has changed since our last newsletter. While this unparalleled crisis is still unfolding, we are already witnessing new behaviors and emerging trends that are gaining new ground in the years ahead. Indeed, the challenges we face bring reflection and structural change. But they also push us to step back and gain a perspective, something that was often difficult to achieve in our fast pace environment. 

The last few months have had a positive impact on our portfolio companies as a whole. Given the global footprint of our companies, we have seen major enterprise and consumers accelerating their adoption of technology and digital access across all major categories including finance, retail, education, health, and supply chain. Our portfolio founders have adapted quickly to the pandemic and taken the necessary measures to stay competitive in the 'new normal'. 

Tekton has remained active and continues to back founders fervently. For the first half of 2020, we made 6 new investments, 9 follow-on financings in our portfolio, and are currently closing 2 new ones.

Tekton remains solidly focused on partnering with daring founders building groundbreaking digital businesses across the globe.  


Spotlight: Neobanks are here to stay

We are discovering every day how the COVID pandemic is shifting drivers, habits, and beliefs. Some trends are being accelerated (online grocery shopping), some halted (mass tourism), and some reversed (urbanization). 

As investors with a strong Fintech focus, we are pleased to witness that digital banking solutions undoubtedly belong to the first category. Indeed, after having shared insightful conversations with portfolio companies Bnext (Spain), Kyash (Japan) and Toss (Korea), we realized they were benefiting from similar tailwinds locally. 

On the one hand, as most physical bank branches closed under lock-down in Spain and Korea, BNext and Toss’ digital onboarding process contributed to a clear increase of signups during the period. On the other hand, all three neobanks witnessed a sharp increase in payment volume for e-commerce transactions, pushing them to focus their efforts there with more rewards and tailored online offers. It is especially true in Japan were COVID is accelerating the transition to a cashless society. 

If Japan, Spain and Korea had very different reactions to the pandemic (from no lock-down to a very tight monitoring and testing of the population), all three challenger banks took on the very same mission: drawing up the products to support their customers’ “new life”. And they did it at lightning speed. Typically, BNext’s customers can already use their newly released online medical chatbot, or benefit from an advance on their tax returns or unemployment benefits. 

Consumers’ growing preference for digitization is nothing new, but it is now more evident than ever that digital banking services will have an enduring relevance. And we are truly proud to be backing three forerunners of this powerful shift! 

If you have questions or have been thinking about this topic as well, we want to hear about it! 


In our portfolio

FRESH ROUNDS

IN THE NEWS

  • Toss (Korea) | Recorded their first profitable month five years after launch, and are now seeking $200M in new financing. continue reading →

  • Coupang (Korea) | The SoftBank-backed start-up that is crushing Amazon to become South Korea’s biggest online retailer. continue reading →

  • Outdoorsy (US) | Witnessed a 1,500% increase in RV bookings for the summer. continue reading →

  • GrubMarket (US) | Continues to bolster its nationwide food supply chain presence with the acquisition of two prominent produce wholesale companies in California. continue reading →

COVID INITIATIVES

Since the beginning of this health crisis, we have been truly impressed by the reactivity, determination, and resilience shown by our entrepreneurs. They have adapted and demonstrated creativity to weather the storm as well as support their community. We are proud to back entrepreneurs who can seize opportunities even in tougher times. Here are a few examples:

  • Coupang (Korea) | Feb. 20th, launched multiple initiatives like: freezing the price of masks in January, delivering daily necessities to over 1M households every day, invested more than 10B won in COVID-19 safety measures for its facilities, etc. continue reading →

  • Signifyd (US) | March 21th, announced the release of its COVID-19 Business Continuity Package, a discounted set of commerce solutions to help e-commerce businesses prosper in the face of workforce disruptions, unexpected shifts in demand and increasing fraud threats. continue reading →

  • Geomiq (UK) | March 23th, has shifted its focus to fighting coronavirus and quickly designed a prototype for the outer shell of ventilators. continue reading →

  • Bugcrowd (US) | April 6th, announced that it is offering a COVID-19 Response Package that will provide free Bugcrowd fully-managed services for emergency response teams, hospitals, or other care provider organizations helping to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. continue reading →

  • Totem (France) | May 03rd, developed a B2C offer for online grocery shopping from their warehouse. continue reading →