Businesses across the spectrum from multinational firms to startups have had to quickly innovate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zain Jaffer, an entrepreneur and investor focused on startups and property tech, provides insights into the businesses that are not only surviving, but thriving during the pandemic, and predicts which innovations and trends will reshape the customer experience (CX).
Let’s start by talking about startups. Since Zain Ventures invests in a wide range of startup businesses, what e-commerce startups have you been watching that have an interesting approach to customer support or the overall customer experience?
Yeah, so Zain Ventures is my family office. And I also run a venture capital fund called Blue Field, which invests in a segment of startups in the PropTech sector. And I did this after selling my own company, I had an exit in 2019, sold in my mobile advertising startup for $780 million, and wanted to diversify. And I’m a very thematic investor, I focus on trends. So a lot of the startups I look for, especially through the pandemic, are seeing a lot of acceleration in the core trends that they’ve been targeting. Of course, there’s also a category of startups that have gone to absolutely zero because the pandemic completely crushed them. I think a couple of cool startups that I personally invested in, or I’m looking at, one of these companies is Order For Me. And I invested in Order For Me prior to the pandemic. Order For Me is trying to really change the restaurant retail experience.
And in what way?