Coronavirus, election results, Kobe Bryant and Zoom among Google’s top 2020 search trends in U.S. and world

The coronavirus outbreak, elections, and Zoom meetings were on U.S. consumers minds’ this year, according to Google’s list of the U.S. top trending searches in 2020, released this morning. These search trends don’t reflect the most-searched for words and phrases across Google, but rather those that saw high spikes in traffic over a sustained period of time during the year, as compared with 2019. This paints a more accurate picture of consumers’ changing interests during the year, than Google’s top searches would.

The lists of top Global search trends had a similar set of results.

In the U.S., Election Results was the No. 1 top trending search, followed by Coronavirus.

The PlayStation 5, Zoom and the names of several celebrities we tragically lost in 2020 also made the list.

In order, the top trending searches of 2020 were: Election results, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Coronavirus update, Coronavirus symptoms, Zoom, who is winning the election, Chadwick Boseman, and PlayStation 5.

The top trending News searches reflected similar trends, with Elections, the pandemic, and other related impacts making the list. There was a lot of bad news in 2020, including natural disasters and the largest stock market crash since 1929 (the Coronavirus Crash), which made the list, too.

In order, the top trending News searches were: Election results, Coronavirus, Stimulus checks, Unemployment, Iran, Hurricane Laura, Super Tuesday, Stock Market, Murder hornet, and Australia fires.

Google’s year-end search trends also highlighted top people, actors, politicians, athletes, musicians and losses of the year, with the U.S. No. 1’s going to Joe Biden (top people search trend and politician search trend), Tom Hanks (who got COVID in 2020), Ryan Newman, Shakira, and Kobe Bryant.

The year-end review also broke out other topics, like top trending TV shows, sports teams, songs, movies, games, and more.

The No.1’s across these lists, in order, included the Netflix viral hit, “Tiger King,” the Boston Celtics, “WAP,” “Parasite,” and Among Us.

Globally, many of the top trends remained the same, with Coronavirus, Election results, Kobe Bryant, Zoom and IPL as top search trends. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus, Election results, Iran, Beirut, and Hantavirus were top trending News searches.

There were other similarities across subtopics, too, like No. 1’s which included Tom Hanks, Ryan Newman, Among Us, WAP, Parasite, Joe Biden, “Tiger King,” and more.

Beyond the terms themselves, Google says there were other apparent trends that emerged from its data. This year, people continued to use Google to ask “why” to learn about the world. Although, this year, many of our “why’s” were related to COVID — like where to buy toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer and top “where to buy” search trends. We also looked for nearby places like covid testing and early voting centers, as well as protests in our “Near Me” searches.

And, despite everything, people remained optimistic as Google users searched for ways to spend time in coronavirus lockdowns. Searches for “sourdough bread recipe” hit an all-time high, for example. Other popular food searches included whipped coffee (thanks TikTok!), Disney churro, Dole whip and others. Top trends in “how to” searches reflected a world where we learned to stay at home, doing things for ourselves — like how to cut hair, or cut bangs, or color hair at home, as well as work from home, take virtual field trips, go on virtual dates, and more.

Searches for Black Lives Matter increased five-fold over 2019, as well.

These searches and those for other supported markets can be viewed on Google Trends.

As Uber and Lyft continue to melt, the 2019 unicorn class loses its shine

You’d be excused for feeling that mid-2019 was in a different decade as far as venture-backed IPOs go.

Last year saw a number of successful flotations of venture-backed technology and technology-enabled companies, and most performed well after they began trading. But despite some early success, a number of the most famous 2019 IPOs have seen their valuations decline rapidly in ensuing quarters.

In some cases, once richly valued public unicorns are off more than twice the market’s recent declines, have given up all their gains earned as public companies, or fallen under their final private market valuations. It’s a stunning reversal for several of the most-lauded companies to come out of the venture capital machine in a decade.

With the travel market in tatters, when can Airbnb go public in 2020?

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

This morning we’re tracking Airbnb’s latest losses, its anticipated and real Q1 revenue growth, and what the company’s current situation likely means for its public debut, something the company has promised will occur in 2020.

Last September, Airbnb told its investors, employees, and the world that it would begin to trade publicly in 2020, with the company widely expected to pursue a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO. Since then, the company’s persistent deficits have continued. And, unexpectedly, the world’s travel industry has become troubled in light of the spread of COVID-19, the resulting border closures and reduction in personal and business travel. Mix in a broad stock market selloff, and Airbnb is in a tricky spot.

It is too early to say that Airbnb will not float in 2020, but it’s not too early to say that a public listing in the first half of the year is out. Let’s explore why.

Public investors loved SaaS stocks in 2019, and startups should be thankful

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

Today, something short. Continuing our loose collection of look backs of the past year, it’s worth remembering two related facts. First, that this time last year SaaS stocks were getting beat up. And, second, that in the ensuing year they’ve risen mightily.

If you are in a hurry, the gist of our point is that the recovery in value of SaaS stocks probably made a number of 2019 IPOs possible. And, given that SaaS shares have recovered well as a group, that the 2020 IPO season should be active as all heck, provided that things don’t change.

Let’s not forget how slack the public markets were a year ago for a startup category vital to venture capital returns.

Last year

We’re depending on Bessemer’s cloud index today, renamed the “BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index” when it was rebuilt in October. The Cloud Index is a collection of SaaS and cloud companies that are trackable as a unit, helping provide good data on the value of modern software and tooling concerns.

If the index rises, it’s generally good news for startups as it implies that investors are bidding up the value of SaaS companies as they grow; if the index falls, it implies that revenue multiples are contracting amongst the public comps of SaaS startups.1

Ultimately, startups want public companies that look like them (comps) to have sky-high revenue multiples (price/sales multiples, basically). That helps startups argue for a better valuation during their next round; or it helps them defend their current valuation as they grow.

Given that it’s Christmas Eve, I’m going to present you with a somewhat ugly chart. Today I can do no better. Please excuse the annotation fidelity as well: