Investor Mary Meeker says Covid-19 crisis is separating businesses with strong online strategies from laggards

Key Points
  • Mary Meeker, who is known for her lengthy annual "Internet Trends" report, sent a letter to her firm's investors detailing observations from the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Among them: The businesses who were already well along the offline-to-online transition are faring best. 
Mary Meeker presents her annual Internet Trends Report at Code 2018.
Asa Mathat | Vox Media

Mary Meeker, the former tech investment banker who has spent the past decade in venture capital, is out with a new 29-page report on how the coronavirus is shaping economic activity, consumer behavior and technology.

The report, which Axios published on Friday, says businesses that are doing the best in the current crisis use cloud technologies, sell products that are always needed, can easily be found online, make other businesses more efficient and have a good social media presence.

Those dynamics are at work for restaurants, stores, online education, health providers and software companies.

"Many of these offline-to-online trends have been in place for a while," the report says. "Covid-19 just accelerated them."

In the world of on-demand services, which has raked in tens of billions of dollars in capital in recent years, fortunes are split. Uber and Lyft are struggling from a plunge in ridership and Airbnb is getting crushed from a drop in travel.

Meanwhile, Instacart and DoorDash, which are in the business of delivering food and groceries "have experienced surging demand and are aggressively bringing on new workers," the report said. "Net, we believe on-demand and to-the-door delivery services may be gaining permanent market share in these unusual times."

Meeker's firm also sees technology's role in health and medicine playing a bigger role as the crisis unfolds. Telehealth is allowing people to get critical services from home, connected monitoring devices are showing they can help improve outcomes and we're seeing the importance of automation and artificial intelligence. 

"The current crisis is a reminder that our healthcare labor resources were already stretched then," the report says. "Automation will continue to make inroads in healthcare to reduce workload and improve the quality of data capture."

Meeker, who was previously a partner at Kleiner Perkins, is known for producing an annual "Internet Trends" report that spans hundreds of pages and details macro issues across the globe.  

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