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How the 500 Startups Community Is Helping Those Affected By COVID-19

We at 500 are focused on helping the global community during these unsettling and unprecedented times. We are hosting roundtables and webinars with our partners and founders to address relevant topics, including the state of financing with our portfolio, and tips on how to manage a team remotely. Our goal is to offer resources to our founders, fellow investors, and the greater tech community. 

Many of our global portfolio companies are also dedicating resources and time to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. These companies are addressing urgently important solutions like helping healthcare workers on the front lines, increasing awareness of preventative measures, and alleviating some of the financial burden on some of the hardest-hit industries. 

Helping the Front Lines

OhmniLabs – Producing Face Shields 

OmniLabs is donating its 3D-printed face shields to San Francisco Bay Area hospitals in need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are also deploying “telepresence robots” in hospitals around the world that allow people to communicate via video with quarantined relatives and friends stricken with COVID-19. Learn more about their initiatives in their recent Facebook post. 

Speedhome – Free Stays for Healthcare Workers

A Malaysian platform for property listings, Speedhome is offering a month-long free stay for COVID-19 front liners near 11 hospitals in Malaysia. The initiative is meant to shorten commute and give health workers more time to rest.  

Carousell – Donation Drive 

A Singapore online marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods, Carousell started a donation drive for those affected by COVID-19. 


Enabling Preventive Health

Apostrophe Health – Making Hand Sanitizers 

The national shortage of hand sanitizers prompted the team at Apostrophe to shift available capacity at its compounding pharmacy to produce the formula recommended by the World Health Organization. It is donating profits to the WHO COVID-19 Response Fund.

Carbon Health – Providing At-Home Risk Assessment for COVID-19 

Health tech startup Carbon Health is providing consumers with a free Coronavirus assessment over video and at its clinics.

Applecrumby – Providing Sanitizers & Masks

In response to the crisis, this Malaysian e-commerce company sent containers of adult diapers to Wuhan, China, and distributed for free 50,000 sanitizers and 20,000 masks to parents with young children in Malaysia in March. They’re aiming to do the same in Korea, Philippines and Thailand in April. 

Doc-Doc – Helping to Determine Early Risk 

Colombian health tech company DocDoc is helping to alleviate some of the strain on hospitals by providing an online test to help determine one’s risk of catching COVID-19. 


Alleviating Hard-Hit Industries  

Talently – Opening Doors For Laid Off Engineers

Talently, a Latin American program aimed at enhancing software engineer careers, is opening its network for engineers who were laid off by helping them find new positions.

Storehub – Bringing Awareness to Open Restaurants 

Storehub set up a #SaveOurStores campaign to help restaurants in Malaysia that have lost 80% of their business due to restricted movement orders. It has created a site that lists restaurants and cafes making food deliveries: https://fooddelivery.com/my 

Kitabisa – Crowdsourcing Relief 

KitaBisa is one of the largest Southeast Asian crowdfunding platforms for social causes. It has more than 500 campaigns on COVID-19 relief efforts initiated by the public, NGOs, and public figures. Donations have reportedly reached $1.4 million so far

Grab – Creating Safe Ways For Consumers to Get Takeout 

Malaysia-based Grab launched a cashless (pay with GrabPay via the app) and ‘self-pickup’ option to help restaurants generate more revenue while allowing customers to stay safely in their homes. 

Connected Analytics – Launching Food and Money Donations

Batch 26 company Connected Analytics is alleviating some of the burden caused by COVID-19 by facilitating food and money donations in Nigeria starting in April through its consumer app, Thank You Cash. 

Get on Board – Free Postings for Remote Jobs 

With unemployment on the rise, Latin American job platform, Get on Board, is offering free postings for remote jobs for the rest of the year.

Ovation –  Connecting with Customers Remotely 

To help businesses remotely connect with their customers, Ovation, a customer engagement solutions company, is giving local businesses using their platform 1,000 free text messages. 


#QuarantineLife: Education and Exercise at home

Butiqlive – Staying Fit While Staying Home

Butiqlive, a company that offers virtual fitness classes in Latin America, is giving the first month of membership for free during the crisis. 

Kinedu – Helping WFH Parents

Baby development app, Kinedu, is giving its services for free through April 15 to help parents who are now having to balance working from home and childcare. Services are offered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

Gnowbe – Free Courses on Infection Prevention and the Pandemic 

The Singapore-based microlearning company is offering two free courses to the public on COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread. 

EngageSpark – SMS Templates for Public Health Advice 

EngageSpark has put together SMS templates containing the WHO’s public health advice, to make it easy for organizations to inform their staff and beneficiaries of best practices. 

LottieFiles – Providing Educational Animations on COVID-19 

LottieFiles’ design and animation community came together to create animations around COVID-19 to educate the public about the disease. Anyone is free to use them on their marketing materials, products and apps.

Tynker – Providing Free Coding Courses to Kids 

Child education platform, Tynker, is offering free coding courses for kids during the school closures. 

ElCoach – Fitness at home

With gyms closing their doors, Arabic fitness and nutrition app, ElCoach, is offering a one month free plan. Customers can download the app and use the promo code “StaySafe.”


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