Coronavirus Updates: Endeavor May Cut Epic Games; Tinder's New COVID-19 Strategy

Coronavirus Updates: Endeavor May Cut Epic Games; Tinder's New COVID-19 Strategy

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.

  • Mega talent agency Endeavor seeks sale of Epic games in bid to restructure amid COVID-19
  • Forget swiping left and right on Tinder to meet a match. The app now wants to take you on a virtual date

    Mega talent agency Endeavor seeks sale of Epic games in bid to restructure amid COVID-19

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    Hollywood appears to be poised for dealmaking as COVID-19 rearranges priorities and business models. Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the Tinseltown talent agency and owner of Ultimate Fighting Championships, is said to be close to sell off investments as a way to streamline their overall business. Bloomberg News reported that Endeavor, led by Chief Executive Ari Emanuel, is looking into selling part of its stake of Epic Games. The North Carolina-based video game maker is known for its popular Fortnite franchise, and was once valued at about $15 billion.

    Endeavor built a sprawling empire of media, sports and entertainment assets predicated on the growing value of live events, according to Bloomberg. It operates the mixed martial arts league UFC and stages hundreds of live events all over the world. The temporary pause on such events in most parts of the world has forced Endeavor to lay off, furlough or cut salary for about one-third of its workforce, and prompted credit ratings to downgrade its debt.

    Forget swiping left and right on Tinder to meet a match. The app now wants to take you on a virtual date

    cdn.pixabay.com

    Love in the age of pandemic: Tinder wants to match you to your perfect mate, but also facilitate the first date. The West Hollywood-based dating app told shareholders Wednesday it will launch a video chat function later this year to virtually allow users to meet. The app has an estimated 57 million people who log on to the service globally, all of them swiping left and right before being allowed to contact matches.

    Match group also owns a number of other dating apps including Hinge and OkCupid. Though, the new video function will only be rolled out on Tinder in late summer. Match reported Tuesday that it saw usage growth spike across all its dating brands during the first quarter, and generated more than $544 million in revenue — a 17% increase year-over-year.


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    Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

    Samson Amore

    Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

    Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

    Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

    Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

    So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

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    https://twitter.com/samsonamore
    samsonamore@dot.la

    Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

    David Shultz

    David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

    Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
    Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

    The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

    These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

    That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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    How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

    Aisha Counts
    Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
    How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
    Joey Mota

    Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

    Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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