“Everyone woke up and thought, ‘Wait a second, people are still going to do business,’” said Steve Sloane, an investor at Menlo Ventures. “They’re just going to do it online.”

Some of the shift was fueled by start-ups adapting their businesses to the pandemic. One of those was ActivityHero, an online marketplace for children’s activities. In April, the San Francisco start-up’s bookings dropped 88 percent as summer camps around the country canceled their programs, said Peggy Chang, its chief executive. She worried the company wouldn’t survive the year.

So ActivityHero encouraged its providers to offer virtual activities, promoting them to parents with free classes and small discounts. By the summer, bookings were back — just online. Now, Ms. Chang said, she sees online activities as a springboard to expand faster when in-person activities return.

Envoy, a start-up in San Francisco that sells sign-in systems to offices, also suffered its first monthly net loss in…

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