In just a few months, COVID-19 has upended the world as we know it. Since the outbreak, over 130,000 U.S. citizens have lost their lives to the virus, while over three million have contracted it. And despite constant study by the world's foremost researchers and health experts, still no one has yet been able to determine how contagious it is exactly how it spreads or what the long-term health impacts are. And scientists have so far been unable to create a vaccine. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR)
Presently, folks in the health and pharmaceutical space are actively researching and developing treatments and potential vaccines for the virus. In fact, nine pharma companies are currently racing to be the first to a COVID-19 vaccine.
But the real heroes of the COVID-19 crisis could come out of the technology space, as organizations are using their resources to focus on tracking and helping prevent the future spread of the virus...
Take, for instance, FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (FANS; FUNFF), which recently developed a special app to help trace and track positive COVID-19 patients in order to curb the spread.
Just recently, the Ministry of Ontario, Canada voiced booming support for the technology, saying it could be pivotal for the government's own COVID alert systems.
A simple idea with lifesaving implications...
FansUnite Entertainment Inc.'s (FANS; FUNFF)TraceSCAN app's premise is brilliant in its simplicity:
Developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo, TraceSCAN uses Bluetooth technology to track contact between its users, in order to identify who may have been exposed to positive COVID-19 cases within its member base. Any user who is identified receives an immediate notification so they can take steps to isolate and/or seek treatment right away.
But the company didn't stop there. It also developed inexpensive Bluetooth wearables in an effort to make the technology as accessible as possible. The Ministry of Ontario specifically noted in its announcement that the integration of wearables could be incredibly useful in workplaces where mobile accessibility is limited (think everywhere from healthcare facilities to construction sites to sporting venues).
This isn't the first major endorsement the tech has received: Back in May, the Labourers' International Union of North America (LiUNA) said it planned to adopt the TraceSCAN app in an effort to protect its 130,000 members from the spread of COVID-19.
A millennial-driven megatrend...
As baby boomers enter their retirement years, millennials are hitting the market. And according to Morgan Stanley, millennial investors are twice as likely than others surveyed to invest in social and environmental causes they support with 75% of millennial respondents saying they believe their investments could directly impact climate change, and 84% saying they believe the same about alleviating poverty.
This is why some of millennials' favorite investors are green energy companies like NextEra Energy (NEE). NextEra is literally building the path towards sustainability. To make matters more exciting, the company was the number one capital investor in green energy infrastructure, and the fifth largest investor across all sectors.
In addition to its already massive impact combatting the world's looming climate crisis, it has ambitions of investing an additional $55 billion in infrastructure in the next two years in the United States. And while it helps deploy the world's new energy reality, it has also committed to weaning itself off foreign oil. And shareholders are all in. Over the past 15 years, shareholders have seen 945% returns.
Millennials are also going all-in on technology. From hardware producers like Apple (AAPL) and NVIDIA (NVDA) to social media giants like Twitter (TWTR), millennials are putting their money in what they believe in.
Apple has made significant moves towards renewables. All of Apple's operations run on 100% renewable energy. "We proved that 100 percent renewable is 100 percent doable. All our facilities worldwide--including Apple offices, retail stores, and data centers--are now powered entirely by clean energy. But this is just the beginning of how we're reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. We're continuing to go further than most companies in measuring our carbon footprint, including manufacturing and product use. And we're making great progress in those areas too," CEO Tim Cook explained.
Like Apple, NVIDIA has made major progress towards a greener tomorrow. But what makes NVIDIA even more special is that it is tackling the ESG trend on all fronts. In fact, it was ranked as one of the world's top 100 companies to work for due to its incredible working conditions, hiring practices and professional development programs. In addition to its ranking as one of the world's top companies to work for, it was also ranked on MIT Tech Review's 50 Smartest Companies list and the Human Rights Watch's Corporate Equality Index.
Twitter, for its part, has gained great esteem among millennials due to its vocal stance on climate change, equality and internet safety. Twitter works with a number of nongovernmental organizations to help encourage action to protect environmental conservation and promote equal opportunity, particularly in the tech, engineering, arts, mathematics, and scientific fields. The company also puts its money behind its beliefs, donating millions to organizations across the globe that are 'fighting the good fight.'
Millennials are even getting behind the behemoths of yesteryear, such as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). While Berkshire Hathaway isn't widely acknowledged as an ESG company, millennials are buying in because of its massive holdings in other Generation Y favorites such as Apple, Amazon, and Coca Cola. Not to mention, the company is helmed by investing legend Warren Buffet whose track record speaks for itself.
But it's not just millennials who are turning up for ESG investments. According to the study, 75% of all investors are interested in sustainable investing, with 71% saying they believe sustainable investments could have better long-term prospects. What's more, some experts believe COVID-19 is about to fuel the fire of this already raging mega-trend.
Facedrive is already emerging as a leader in the social conscientiousness revolution...
The company believes, above all else, in its mission of "putting people and the planet first." It leads several green initiatives, supports multiple causes, and is quickly gaining a reputation as an emerging leader in the Canadian environmental, social, and governance (ESG) market.
To start, it's the first ridesharing company that lets riders opt for eco-friendly vehicle options (electric vehicles and hybrids) and view data on the environmental impact of their rides. Also, a percentage of all the collected rideshare costs go directly to green initiatives, like planting trees. This is huge, considering the fact that research shows traditional ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft put out 69% more emissions than the transportation options they're replacing. As ESG investing continues gaining momentum. Facedrive is likely to take home a big slice of that pie.
As part of that mission, it's expanded into several other markets, including health (as we saw with TraceSCAN), retail (selling sustainable products), and food delivery. With its delivery service in particular, the company came out of the gate with a bang, closing a deal to acquire Foodora Canada, giving the company partnerships with over 5,500 restaurants and hundreds of thousands of active members. This was a smart strategic move by the company--the global food delivery market surpassed $23.5 million in 2018 and is expected to grow to over $98 million by 2027.
Also, before the acquisition, Foodora was a subsidiary of global behemoth Delivery Hero--one of the only delivery companies to successfully market to its clients' values and grow "brand love" over "brand interest"--a perfect fit for Facedrive's person-and-planet-first mantra.
Facedrive Eats now operates out of six cities in Ontario, with an eye on expansion in the near future. And it appears even more impressive partnerships could be right around the corner. On June 30, the company announced the official launch of its Corporate Partnership Program. Anyone paying attention would have noticed this explosive bit of news: Global ecommerce giant Amazon and Canadian Tier-1 telecoms giant Telus jumped in on Facedrive's corporate partnership program.
That means both giants will be receiving preferred pricing on Facedrive services and that their employees have a deal to use Facedrive at a discount. And they won't just be using Facedrive, they'll be helping it expand its technology infrastructure around the world as it branches out globally. With Amazon and Telus on board, other household names are likely to follow.
The new market reality...
We're living in a new age. No one knows the long-term impacts COVID-19 will have on the world--either on our health or on the economy as we know it. No one knows for sure how long the stimulus measures will last--although history tells eventually what goes down (interest rates... to zero) will eventually go back up.
Meanwhile, the markets have experienced volatility unlike any we've seen in over a decade. Wall Street is chasing its tail. And in a world of depressing earnings and unknown long-term outlooks, it's impossible to say how long this post-crash market rally will last.
As market focus shifts from bottom lines to global impact, initiatives that have the capacity for widespread impact are drawing investors in flocks. And with the socially conscious millennial generation launching itself into the market and 30-some-odd years from retirement, this trend isn't likely to end any time soon.
FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (FANS; FUNFF) is already gaining recognition across the board as an ESG leader, thanks to its unique person-and-planet first approach to every industry it touches--from eco-friendly rides to COVID-19 response. As the massive ESG trend converges with the huge ridesharing and delivery markets, the company has positioned itself to come out a beloved leader of ESG in action.
By: Imani Johnson
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This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for ride sharing services will grow; that the demand for environmentally conscientious ride sharing services companies in particular will grow quickly and take a much larger share of the market; that Facedrive's TraceScan app will be adopted by other parties including government; that Facedrive's marketplace will offer many more sustainable goods and services, and grow revenues outside of ride-sharing; that new products co-branded by Bel Air and Facedrive will sell well; that Facedrive can achieve its environmental goals without sacrificing profit; that Facedrive Foods will expand to other regions outside southern Ontario soon; that major corporations will partner with Facedrive; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing governmental laws and policies; the company's ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company's expansion activities and whether markets justify additional expansion; the TraceScan app may not be adopted because of better apps offered by competitors or because of expense the ability of the company to attract a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demands of customer riders; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; the ability of Facedrive to attract providers of good and services for partnerships on terms acceptable to both parties, and on profitable terms for Facedrive; that the products co-branded by Facedrive may not be as merchantable as expected; that Facedrive does not attract major corporations as corporate partners, and even if it does, the partnerships do not bring the customers or revenues expected; the ability of the company to keep operating costs and customer charges competitive with other ride-hailing companies; and the company's ability to continue agreements on affordable terms with existing or new tree planting enterprises, riders and drivers in order to retain profits. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law
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