April 27, 2020
Good morning. This Monday: COVID may have changed gig economics forever, the boom in edtech adoption, and a very busy calendar.
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As of 4:15 a.m. PDT: Nasdaq Futures: 1.11% | Euro 600: 1.62% | Nikkei: 2.71% | Hang Seng: 1.88%
On Friday, analysts at Morgan Stanley put forward an interesting thesis: that coronavirus could upend gig economy companies' business models.
To figure out what that might mean, the team looked at the potential effect on Just Eat Takeaway.com's U.K. business.
The situation could be even worse for other providers, like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Around 79% of Just Eat's orders come from its marketplace, where restaurants arrange their own delivery. Services that rely more on their own couriers could be even more affected.
If my colleagues' struggles are anything to go by, home-schooling kids is hard. It's no surprise then that edtech companies have seen a surge in demand in recent weeks, with parents and teachers alike desperate to make this new normal work.
And it's now unlikely to go away. "Once you've realized that something can ... help you with your efficiencies, you're highly unlikely to stop using it," Scanlon said, arguing that the current crisis is "going to accelerate" the adoption of tech like SoapBox's.
SoapBox recently raised funding, and Scanlon said investors were keen. "The interest in voice technology and remote learning has been only gaining traction," she said.
The best thing I saw this weekend was this headline: "Nintendo Slashes Interest Rates In Animal Crossing: New Horizons." Players estimate the rate was cut from around 0.5% to 0.05%, and payouts are now capped. No one knows quite why Nintendo made the change: It's seemingly at least in part to discourage time travel exploits but might also be to encourage players to spend rather than just hoard wealth. Video games are becoming more realistic by the day.