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FLYDESK - Empowering the "Modern Working Lifestyle" (A): Should Native Union Invest in FLYDESK?

Published 15 Jul 2021
Reference 6610
Topic Strategy
Region Asia
Summary

The case explores the origins of the Hong Kong-based remote working start-up FLYDESK (flydesk.com). Part A centers on its founding and first fundraising round in 2019, when the tech accessories company Native Union seeks to invest in FLYDESK. First, it must obtain approval from Leitmotiv, the private equity firm that invested in Native Union. What are the benefits and risks for both FLYDESK and Native Union if they go ahead with Native Union’s investment in FLYDESK? And are the potential synergies feasible enough for Leitmotiv to “green light” Native Union’s investment in FLYDESK? Part B fast-forwards to 2020, when COVID-19 has hindered business operations and forced a large part of the workforce to work from home. After a successful first round of funding, FLYDESK faces a series of new challenges as many co-working spaces have had to limit capacity or shut down. The main one is to adapt its product strategy and incorporate new demands. Given its limited resources, what product offerings should it focus on? How to ensure that the product strategy is aligned with the business strategy? And can FLYDESK stay relevant and attractive to win another round of funding? The case captures various perspectives and factors that are key to the success of an early-stage start-up.

Teaching objectives

The main objective is to learn how to formulate (and revise) product strategy in a highly volatile environment (from Case A). A secondary objective is to discuss the potential benefits and risks of investing in a new high-tech venture (from Case A, with B as follow-up reading to provide an update on the investment). More broadly, students will gain: a) an understanding of the strategic reasoning and synergies of minority investments in startups (from reading/discussing Case A) b) a structured approach to defining an innovation portfolio and aligning it with business strategy in a volatile environment (from A&B).

Keywords
  • Product Strategy
  • Product Portfolio Management
  • Product Management
  • Digital innovation
  • High-tech
  • Q32021