Coronavirus Updates: Talespin's HR Tips Managing WFH Staff; TikTok Ticks Up 2 Billion Downloads

Coronavirus Updates: Talespin's HR Tips Managing WFH Staff; TikTok Ticks Up 2 Billion Downloads

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.

  • Talespin releases learning tools for HR as staff works remotely in pandemic world
  • TikTok's 2 billion download record as quarantine drives hunt for content

    Talespin releases learning tools for HR as staff works remotely in pandemic world

    Talespin

    Culver-City virtual reality training startup Talespin announced Wednesday it is unveiling a series of learning modules for the COVID-19 age called "Leading Through Uncertainty." Modules include Creating Calmness Through Succinct Communication, Regulating Emotions During Uncertain Times, Communicating Productively with a Distraught Employee, De-Escalating an Emotionally Charged Situation, and Disagreeing Productively During Challenging Times.

    Talespin is best known for a dystopian demonstration it released showing an older worker being laid off, but Talespin CEO and Co-Founder Kyle Jackson tells dot.LA the new modules are more focused on helping employees adapt to how their companies are changing rather than layoffs. He also says Talespin is getting more interest lately from Fortune 250 companies interested in training a more remote workforce. "There's a big belief that we're going to make a leap forward in the next phase of work," said Jackson. "They are starting to explore this stuff more meaningfully."

    The new modules will be available in partnership with Cornerstone, which invested in Talespin's $15 million Series B funding round last month. "The current climate has created a renewed focus on workplace learning and has accelerated the need for leaders to develop new skills to help their organizations respond and adapt quickly to their new environment," Heidi Spirgi, Cornerstone's Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, said in a statement.

    TikTok's 2 billion download record as quarantine drives hunt for content

    Social video app TikTok, the popular video sharing app owned by Chinese media company ByteDance, has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally on the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. The latest milestone comes just five months after TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads. In Q1 2020, it generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter, accumulating more than 315 million installs across the App Store and Google Play.

    Sensor Tower reports that "while the app was already popular and backed by a large user acquisition campaign, TikTok's latest surge comes amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen consumers drawn to their mobile devices more than ever as they look for new ways to shop, work, and connect with others."

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    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.

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    Los Angeles is expected to roll out COVID-19 test kiosks later this month. A similar program in Berkeley may offer a hint of what it will look like.

    Curative Inc. the company that administers COVID-19 tests, started a kiosk pilot program in Berkeley that opened last month.

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