While most sectors across the world, primarily those of travel and tourism, suffered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of the biggest tech firms struck gold.
As we brace for 2021, let’s first look at 4 tech companies that reaped big bucks in 2020.
You can’t really make a list of the winners of 2020 without mentioning the video conferencing platform that took the world by storm in lieu of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Zoom Video Communications, founded by Eric S. Yuan in 2011, a company that went unnoticed by the masses for many years, slowly built up a name for itself and eventually went public last year. Unlike most other tech firms, Zoom was actually making a profit, and its IPO was the 2nd most valuable tech public offering in 2019, eclipsing major names like Uber, Lyft and Slack, firms that also listed publicly that year.
By the end of 2020, Zoom had already cemented its position in the zeitgeist, and has become the colloquial name often used when referring to the act of video conferencing, competing with the previous holder of this informal accolade: Skype.
With its latest earnings report, the company recorded Q3 2020 revenue of $777.2 million, up 367% year-over-year and 12% quarter-on-quarter growth. Additionally, the platform now supports over 3 trillion annualized meeting minutes, and regularly sees well over 300 million daily meeting participants. Compared to the 10 million users the company had in December of 2019, we could probably crown Zoom as the undisputed tech sector king of 2020 already.
However, there are some others we must consider.
Another standout name from 2020, TikTok has certainly left a mark on the world of social media usually long-dominated by American companies. The company has made such an impact that even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had gone on the offensive against the company, not to forget US President Donald Trump himself.
Unlike Zoom, TikTok’s success had been building over the past couple of years, with the app gaining traction rapidly into the start of 2020, even before the pandemic hit.
Today, TikTok is a billion-dollar social media force, with rivals such as Facebook-owned Instagram going as far as copying their main features. While copying rivals is nothing to Facebook, it does come to show how much of a threat the Chinese video app has become to existing social media mainstays.
AmazonNo matter what is currently transpiring in the world, there are two businessmen that will always be making a financial killing, one or another.
The first of these two men is Jess Bezos, Mr. Amazon himself. Like the previous two companies on this list, Amazon benefited from the mandatory lockdown orders put into effect across the world.
The reasons for this are two-fold: One one hand, most people were forced to order necessities and other items online to comply with social distancing guidance. On the other hand, you had a many consumers stuck at home with a large amount of disposable income that they could no longer spend physically in stores, cinemas, and other outlets. Naturally, they turned their sights to online retailers like Amazon to get their consumerist fix, which allowed the massive e-tailer to make some serious money.
Amazon revealed in their Q3 2020 earnings report that revenue was up 37% to $96.1 billion, net income was $6.3 billion, and earnings per share of $12.37 (compared to revenue of $70.0 billion, net income of $2.1 billion, and earnings per share of $4.23 in Q3 2019).
Mr. Amazon is joined by Bill Gates as the other businessman who seems to make money no matter the time, era or current situation in the world.
Similarly benefited by lockdown orders, Microsoft saw strong sales of its myriads products and services.
According to Venture Beat, the company’s Q3 2020 earnings recorded “revenue of $35.0 billion, net income of $10.8 billion, and earnings per share of $1.40 (compared to revenue of $30.6 billion, net income of $8.8 billion, and earnings per share of $1.14 in Q3 2019). All three of the company’s operating groups saw year-over-year growth.”
The company also beat analysts’ expectations for the quarter’s earnings per share. In fact, Microsoft stock appreciated over 38% year-to-date (YTD), continuing the stock’s solid increase over the past 5 years. While the company did not flourish the same way Amazon did during the pandemic, Microsoft has trailed along 2020 mostly unscathed by COVID-19, weathering this particular storm pretty well.