Coronavirus Updates: Amazon Ready to Postpone 'Prime Day' Due to Pandemic

Coronavirus Updates: Amazon Ready to Postpone 'Prime Day' Due to Pandemic

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

Amazon set to postpone its Prime Day event until the fall as retailer catches up with backlog

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Amazon plans to move its annual Prime Day sales event from summer to fall due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The event, typically held in July, offers department discounts on products for members of the subscription service and has also been used as a promotion for Amazon Studios streaming fare.

The Wall Street Journal reports the shift is part of a broader effort by Amazon to return to more ordinary operations. The company recently started accepting non-essential items from third-party sellers to its warehouses. Those shipments had been temporarily paused while Amazon caught up.

Amazon has been grappling with a surge in demand for weeks as customers sheltering at home turn to online shopping as a lifeline. The company expects to narrow delays in its typically reliable fast shipping but a return to pre-pandemic speeds may not be possible in the near term, WSJ reports. – GeekWire

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Hamet Watt, co-founder and former chairman of MoviePass and a board partner at Upfront Ventures, quietly launched a new venture studio, Share Ventures, earlier this year in Playa Vista with $10 million in funding. Now he is ready to share details, including plans to launch several companies a year – all focused on human performance, or what is usually referred to as wellness.

"We like to use human performance because it expands the definition," Watt told dot.LA. "It's not just things like yoga. It's sports tech, behavior science and human optimization."

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HopSkipDrive, the ridesharing company for kids and one of Los Angeles most visible startups, laid off staff Tuesday as the pandemic ravaged growth plans.

Co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland would not say how many of the 100-plus employees she laid off but told dot.LA that after delivering the news to the group affected over Zoom, managers held one-on-one meetings to review benefits and severance pay. Several departments were impacted including operations, branding, sales and customer support.

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