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15 enterprise tech startups poised to come out stronger from the COVID-19 crash, according to the VCs that invested in them — including John Chambers and Sapphire Ventures – Business Insider


15 tech startups poised to come out stronger from the COVID-19 crash according to investors led by tech legend John Chambers

15 tech startups poised to come out stronger from the COVID-19 crash, according to investors including John Chambers

  • Many tech startups collapse during economic downturns, but that’s also when the companies built to last emerge.
  • “Almost all the great high tech companies in each generation, companies like Cisco, Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, were the ones that broke away during an economic crisis,” Silicon Valley legend John Chambers told Business Insider.
  • Predicting the next Cisco, Salesforce or Google is tough, but Chambers and other veteran venture capitalists pointed to 15 startups they believe are poised to come out stronger from the COVID-19 crisis.
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While startups that were burning through VC cash without meaningful revenue may crash and burn because of an economic downturn, some tech startups will come out the other side stronger, more nimble, and wiser.

The COVID-19 crisis has already forced some startups to cut jobs and benefits as they reel from a sudden slump that many fear is leading to a recession.

Silicon Valley legend John Chambers believes up to 45% of US startups aren’t going to make it. But Chambers, formerly the CEO of Cisco and now a venture capital investor,  also notes that it is also during bad times when strong and even great companies emerge.

“Almost all the great high tech companies in each generation — companies like Cisco, Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, Google — were the ones that broke away during an economic crisis,” he told Business Insider. “[A downturn] limits your competitor’s ability to access the money. It also limits the number of companies that come at you: You’re able to break away and gain market share at a much faster pace.”

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Another venture capital investor, president of Dell Technologies Capital Scott Darling, agreed that some startups are already “benefiting pretty substantially from this environment,” particularly because of the sudden pivot to remote work. 

While he’d rather not try to predict “the next Google” because “trying to guess the next trillion dollar company is probably not going to be a successful exercise,” he, Chambers, and others weighed in one which companies from their portfolios that they thought would likely be more successful than their peers.

Here are 15 tech startups that Darling, Chambers, and two other VCs plucked from their portfolios that they expect to come out of the COVID-19 crisis stronger than before:



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