From the smallest scooter startups to the largest global airlines, the coronavirus has wreaked economic destruction across nearly the entire transportation landscape.
No company has gone unscathed. The prospect of reduced mobility in a quarantined world has rattled the most stable of companies. But amid the uncertainty, venture investors long enamored with the disruptive potential of new transportation technology are still searching for fresh opportunities.
"We're definitely still bullish on transportation and mobility in the long term," said Julie Lein, a co-founder and managing partner of the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that provides seed money to early-stage companies. "We're still talking to entrepreneurs and deploying capital."
Data from PitchBook shows she may not be alone. Investors pumped approximately $34 billion into startups during the first quarter of 2020. Analysts from the financial data firm caution it's not yet clear how much of that figure came before March, when COVID-19 began shutting down much of the economy. Even with a drop-off in March, the amount is still larger than the $22 billion invested during the fourth quarter of 2019.