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
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
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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Musicians are facing a tough road and the pandemic hasn't made life any easier. But changes are afoot that could help.
A flurry of deals between music copyright owners and a grab bag of online video purveyors may be just the first step in a process that could see "the most important copyright reform since the U.S. passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 22 years ago," according to one industry observer.
With it, artists and rights holders should be better positioned to benefit from the growing relevance of music across social media platforms, gaming consoles, virtual gyms and much more.
It's never been a better time to "murder your thirst."
Seven months after raising more than $9 million in Series A funding, Santa Monica-based canned water startup Liquid Death has raised $23 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by an unnamed consumer-focused family office and participated in by Convivialité Ventures, Fat Mike (NOFX), Pat McAfee, existing investor in Velvet Sea Ventures and others.