Episodes
Any number of companies and industries have been upended by the pandemic of the past two years, but few consumer sectors have been more radically reshaped than food delivery. At the outset of COVID, lockdowns and physical-distancing requirements gave the category an enormous boost, as delivery became a lifeline for the ailing restaurant industry. Two years later, food delivery has gone from a steadily-growing but still small piece of the restaurant (and grocery) business to a major growth...
Published 01/13/22
Over the last decade, the rise of software-as-a-service (or SaaS) has dramatically transformed the software industry and the myriad enterprises it serves. As the pace of digital transformation and growth of cloud computing has accelerated, SaaS has rapidly become the software-delivery model of choice and preferred alternative to legacy, on-premise products. This paradigm shift to an on-demand, subscription-based model opens up a number of opportunities for new entrants and start-ups to make...
Published 12/16/21
Published 12/16/21
When it comes to start-up fundraising these days, new records seem to be broken practically every quarter. But few digital sectors are booming as much as the business of money known as fintech. Globally, the industry raised more than $90 billion in funding in the first three quarters of this year, almost double the pace in 2020, with 42 new fintech unicorns minted in the third quarter alone. Helping fuel this massive growth is the desire of so many different kinds of companies to be a fintech...
Published 12/03/21
When you think about the pandemic’s impact on fashion, what comes to mind? For most people, the answer is probably sweatpants or jeans and t-shirts, really any super casual attire or cozy athleisurewear that so many of us around the world started wearing every day as our homes suddenly became (and have remained) our offices. But behind the scenes the business of fashion has been undergoing a much more serious, technology-fueled makeover. This has impacted not only how the customer interacts...
Published 11/18/21
Like several countries in Africa, Nigeria was already enduring tough economic times even before the pandemic. Yet one of the real bright spots in the economy of the continent’s most populous country has been its burgeoning fintech sector. Nigeria has a large, young population, accelerating digital and smartphone adoption, and a focused regulatory drive to increase financial inclusion, conditions that create a strong foundation for fintech to become a major economic engine. Between 2014 and...
Published 11/11/21
Buying used clothes is far from a new phenomenon; a certain segment of every new generation of teens and 20-somethings invariably gets drawn into spending time combing through the racks at thrift shops. But in the last decade, the emergence of online, peer-to-peer fashion resale marketplaces has turned the act of purchasing and selling used clothes into a much more mainstream activity. Even before the pandemic, the growing interest in sustainability and the circular economy had helped...
Published 11/04/21
In our information-driven era, no sector is immune to digital disruption, and this includes the once staid world of insurance. Just as financial services has been forced to grapple with a slew of new potential competitors (and partners) from fintech, established insurance giants have seen their business impacted by insurtech upstarts. In a recent episode of the McKinsey on Insurance podcast series, a panel of McKinsey leaders discussed how insurtechs are driving innovation and disruption in...
Published 10/21/21
For a technology that powers so much of today’s global economy, the electric motor hasn’t really advanced all that much since it was invented in the mid-to-late 19th century and helped to usher in the industrial revolution. That may explain why today fully a quarter of global electricity consumption is wasted by legacy, inefficient electric motors. Many people think that plotting a truly sustainable future that can slow climate change requires a new kind of mechanical revolution in electric...
Published 10/14/21
Once known for technology innovations such as the Walkman, gaming systems and bullet trains, Japan has long been a laggard when it comes to venture capital and startup success. The world’s third-largest economy has produced just a handful of tech unicorns, and funding for new businesses has been a relative pittance compared to the massive flows in the US, Europe or other parts of Asia. More recently, however, there have been encouraging signs of change in Japan’s startup ecosystem. Several...
Published 09/30/21
If you have noticed what seems to be even more delivery trucks crowding streets these days, you’re not alone. Ecommerce was already growing at a healthy clip before the pandemic, but the explosion in online shopping ushered in by COVID has left city streets often feeling more traffic-clogged than ever before. Whether idling at the curb or slogging through traffic, those commercial trucks are a major source of the emissions and pollutants that contribute to global warming. Carl-Magnus Norden...
Published 09/23/21
Ecommerce success isn’t just about getting more folks to order more products online; the ability to deliver the soaring volumes of orders in an efficient and customer-friendly manner is, of course, an essential ingredient. That’s where a company like Ninja Van, a Singapore-based express delivery provider with operations throughout Southeast Asia, plays a key role. In a recent episode of McKinsey’s The Venture podcast, Ninja Van’s CEO and Co-Founder Lai Chang Wen spoke to Associate Partner...
Published 09/16/21
The scope and severity of extreme weather events seems to be increasing exponentially these days, with the devastating impacts of climate change and global warming never far from our minds. Yet for all the attention this existential threat to our planet rightfully receives, the myriad causes of it don’t always get the focus they warrant. While the well-known use of fossil fuels for energy produces more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions, another, less well-known source is...
Published 08/26/21
For Airbnb and its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, the pandemic crisis was a crazier roller-coaster ride than almost any other organization experienced. The online lodging marketplace went from predictions that it might not survive the COVID-19 crisis to staging a successful IPO less than nine months later. In this special, guest episode of McKinsey’s Inside the Strategy Room podcast, senior partner James Manyika, who chairs the McKinsey Global Institute, learns from the Airbnb leader what...
Published 08/18/21
Both Lara Lemann and Monica Saggioro have long been interested in the prospect of helping to spur more business innovation, and economic development, in their native Brazil as well as in other parts of Latin America. They both felt that a lack of early stage funding was severely limiting opportunities for entrepreneurs, particularly female founders, on the continent. In 2018, they decided to tackle the challenge head-on by creating their own venture capital fund focused on early stage...
Published 08/05/21
On the face of it, a collaboration between a nimble, high-growth start-up and a large, established corporation seems like a good pairing. The capital-hungry start-up gets the benefit of funding as well as access to corporate resources and potential customers; the corporation gets insights into innovations, and access to the technology and talent which have the potential to transform their industry. But while the number of such engagements has been growing in the last decade, the reality is...
Published 07/21/21
The quarantines and lockdowns that came with COVID have forced many new patients to access medical care digitally, through such tools as telemedicine or remote patient monitoring. That trend is expected to continue to grow over the coming years, and a bevy of startups are hoping to tap it by developing digital tools and solutions to help improve healthcare outcomes and reduce spending at the same time. In this episode, we take a broad, macro view of digital health innovation, speaking with...
Published 07/07/21
Technological innovation plays a critical role in healthcare, from MRI and CAT Scan machines to electronic medical records, e-prescriptions or pacemakers. These days, a growing number of health startups are focusing on using digital tools to improve the quality and availability of care, especially for chronic conditions that account for a large share of rising healthcare costs. The pandemic has in many cases only increased demand for these kinds of products, as quarantines and lockdowns made...
Published 06/16/21
The digital acceleration brought on by COVID has only added more momentum to the ongoing boom in startup financing and innovation. While Silicon Valley and the United States have traditionally led the way in venture capital and startup development, other parts of the world are making great strides in developing their own thriving startup ecosystems. In this episode, McKinsey senior partners Kim Baroudy and Massimo Mazza talk about the state of entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond, exploring...
Published 06/02/21
Venture capital and start-ups have been enjoying a major boom in recent years, and the pandemic has only fueled demand for digital products and services. Two prominent global venture capitalists, Roelof Botha of Sequoia Capital and Par-Jorgen (PJ) Parson of Northzone, offer their perspectives on the sustainability of this era and the changes and challenges the industry is experiencing.
Published 05/14/21