Discovering fire: 4 startups thriving during Covid-19

Top Business Tech looks at the startups that have thrived during the pandemic.
Top Business Tech looks at the startups that have thrived during the pandemic.

Click here to listen to our podcast ‘Discovering Fire” on Spotify now.

Technology is constantly changing, and there are always new and exciting technologies coming out every year. 2020 and 2021 have been great years for the Tech industry, and as we’ve hurtled into the 4th industrial revolution, almost everything is done using technology. So to celebrate, let’s start looking at some of the emerging technologies that have come out between 2020 and 2021.

1. Hopin

 When the founders started to design Hopin, they aimed to give event organizers the ability to recreate the in-person event experience online. After years of thinking and developing, Hopin was launched in 2019 and became the first virtual venue for live online events. The startup has created an awesome experience for the organizers as well as the attendees. The programme comes with a private virtual backstage for speakers and branding placements opportunities for event sponsors. Attendees can connect one-on-one, and they can connect and exchange virtual business cards, join breakout sessions and participate in groups. 

They can also watch keynote presentations on stage, send chat messages, fill out polls, and explore interactive expo areas. Before 2019, webinars tended to be disappointing; however, by creating Hopin, the founders have created an interactive and enjoyable experience for attendees.

Unlike many companies in 2020, Hopin’s workforce experienced high levels of growth over the last 10 months. At the start of 2020, they only had 23 employees, and by the end of 2020, they had over 215 employees. The startup counts Slack, Salesforce, and Northzone amongst its investors.

2. Mythical Games

Mythical Games studio is a startup setting new benchmarks for the gaming industry with its blockchain-based games. A team of veteran gamers and platform experts have developed a world-class product that has brought market foundation-changing concepts. Their goal is to create world-class products that drive consumer adoption of distributed ledger technology through games.

Jeff Poffenbarger, COO has said that “Mythical Games started as a shared belief in blockchain technology and how it enabled in-game economies for player ownership in video games at scale. With a kernel of an idea, rapid iteration, and prototyping, we secured our initial seed and Series A funding that allowed us to hire the right resources to begin turning prototypes into reality and bringing game designs to life.” 

With the rise of NFTs and blockchain in 2021, Mythical Games plans to use its funding to popularize ownership in games through the use of playable NFTs. By doing this, Mythical Games will continue to lead the industry into a new play-to-earn model where players, artists, content creators, and brands directly influence the games economy.

Mythical Games has recently announced early access for PCs to Blankos Block Party. Blankos Block Party is a ground-breaking, multiplayer party game featuring digital vinyl toys known as Blankos that live on a blockchain, inherently providing players with proof of verified ownership and authenticity. Burberry is the first luxury brand to feature in Blankos Block Party.

3. Smarten Spaces

Smarten Spaces is an award-winning technology startup for the digital and hybrid workplace. Founded in 2017, Smart Space’s main goal is to help companies deliver seamless experiences in the spaces of the future with user-friendly technology for workplace management, space management and tenant engagement. Smarten Spaces understands the vital role smart technologies play in our daily routines. 

As more employers consider returning to the workplace, many businesses are turning to technology to adopt simple steps to make the process contactless and convenient while shifting to a Hybrid and flexible workplace. According to Microsoft’s 2021 report, 73% of employees surveyed expressed a desire for flexible remote work options post-pandemic, and 66% of businesses said they were considering redesigning physical spaces to accommodate hybrid work environments better.

A future-ready hybrid workspace equipped with different workplace solutions as become increasingly essential for companies of all sizes. With the use of Smarten Spaces, companies can:

  • Organize their workforce with a centralized management system.
  • Manage who works from the office and when.
  • Make it easier for visitors to come and go with smart premises.
  • Help their employees with any enquiries.
  • Revolutionize their employees’ lunchtime experience with a smart cafeteria. 
  • Increase employee engagement.
4. Zwift 

Zwift is an app aiming to make training and fitness fun. The startup is a massively multiplayer online cycling and running physical training program that enables users to interact, train and compete in a virtual world.

Debuting in 2015, Zwift steadily grew year on year; however, the Covid-19 pandemic boosted the platform with home-bound athletes searching for fitness alternatives that can be done in and around the home. The increase in users leads to a mammoth US$450mn funding round in the last quarter of 2020.

In 2020, Zwift introduced training plans specific to the off-road cycling audience and launched its own eSports division. Zwift hosted and participated in the first-ever Cycling Esports World Championships sanctioned by the UCI, which took place in December 2020.


These four emerging technologies were created by startups and have all become successful platforms. Three out of the four have vastly improved their position throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, each company has helped their users with a basic need in the new digital world.

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Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

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