Welcome to the post-pandemic economy, startups

Earnings season is usually a snoozer if you aren’t obsessed with the stock market. So I understand if the last thing you want to read about this morning is a meta-analysis of cross-sector earnings. But hear me out.

TechCrunch has tracked a select handful of earnings reports from major technology companies in the current Q4 2021 reporting cycle. The picture that emerges is one of companies boosted by the pandemic coming back to Earth, while companies that faced a drop in demand due to COVID-19 are on the bounce.

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The latest corporate results are telling us that the pandemic is over, from a business perspective. This is critical for startups to understand.

Roblox shares are down today, as are Shopify’s. But Airbnb and Uber and Lyft are doing better than you might have expected.

What’s losing favor? Software, video and audio streaming, trading services, e-commerce, consumer fintech, gaming and, in some cases, social networking. And on the previously losing but now winning side, we have lodging and travel to start. The market has inverted, and startups need to prep for a re-inverted world.

So let’s talk accelerated and decelerated startup sectors in light of what we’ve learned from Big Tech’s flashing warning and jackpot lights.

Down is up, up is down

It was December when TechCrunch began to ring the alarm that software stocks, among the largest beneficiaries of pandemic tailwinds in terms of market demand and investor favor, were in decline. The selloff persisted into the new year. We should have read more into the early signal that public-market investors were sending.