How has COVID-19 influenced changes in a platform business model of a startup? Alloy’s case study




Platform Business Model, COVID-19, Startup


Purpose – This study aims to identify the changes in a startup’s platform business model (PBM) due to COVID-19, considering the properties of value proposition, value creation, and value capture in three periods: Pre-COVID-19, During COVID-19 and almost Post-COVID-19.

Design/Methodology/Approach – This inductive qualitative research is based on a longitudinal and single case study of Alloy, a Brazilian startup that had to change its PBM due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary data was collected through interviews, complemented by secondary data such as documents and videos. Data collected refers to the period from August 2019 to July 2023. Data analysis was conducted following the content analysis approach.

Findings – Due to the COVID-19 scenario, Alloy had to change its PBM by modifying its value proposition, value creation, and value capture, moving the focus from a transaction platform to an innovation platform. While scalability decreased due to COVID-19, the PBM changes allowed Alloy to increase its network externalities, which can influence return to scale and bring it closer to success with PBM.

Research limitations/implications – As a limitation, this study focuses on a single case study. Although it is singular, new cases can help to support our findings.

Originality/Value – The originality of this study relies on being able to follow the steps of a startup with a PBM during the COVID-19 period. In complement, a conceptual model was developed to identify Alloy’s changes and opportunities to succeed with its PBM, which can be helpful for academics and practitioners.


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Author Biographies

Rovian Dill Zuquetto, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos

Ph.D. in the Business School at University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil

Graziela Molling, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos

Ph.D. candidate in the Business School at University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil


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How to Cite

Zuquetto, R. D., & Molling, G. (2023). How has COVID-19 influenced changes in a platform business model of a startup? Alloy’s case study. Revista De Administração Da UFSM, 16(4), e3.




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