This Long Beach Production Studio’s Bet on the Metaverse Just Paid Off

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Long Beach Production Studio’s Bet on the Metaverse Just Paid Off

Thunder Studios bet big on the metaverse—and it’s now paying off.

The Long Beach-based production studio and Infinite Reality, the metaverse platform in which it was the lead investor, were acquired this week by Display Social, a social media network that pays creators for their original content. The deal will see Thunder Studios and Infinite Reality integrate their virtual production capabilities into Display’s creator network. Known for producing virtual live events, Thunder Studios notably utilized Infinite Reality’s platform to create a virtual Burning Man experience.

The acquisition is part of a larger foray into the metaverse for Display Social. In November, the company acquired an intellectual property patent from digital content platform that allowed it to expand its metaverse capabilities. Now, it has Thunder Studios’ 150,000-square-foot Long Beach facility at its disposal; the studio’s virtual production capabilities include an esports arena, a dedicated XR stage, and motion capture and volumetric stages—all of which allow Display to work with creators and entertainers looking to produce metaverse content.

“The metaverse is, in essence, the reinvention of television,” Thunder Studios CEO Rodric David told dot.LA. “It's the new TV, as we will go there to entertain and be entertained and interact and socialize. We recognize that it's also the convergence of the three primary behaviors that youth culture exhibits on a mobile device: gaming, entertainment, and social media.”

While the companies declined to disclose the financial specifics of the deal, Display co-founder and CEO John Acunto said it values the combined company at “over a billion dollars.” Acunto will continue to serve as CEO of Display while David will become its president. Though Display is based in Connecticut, the combined entities will have a significant presence in Los Angeles and New York.

Display prides itself on being creator-centric and promises creators a payout rate of up to 50% on ad revenues generated by their content. With the merger, Display can now provide those creators with a metaverse platform and an app enabling them to distribute content, engage with their fans, and build virtual stores.

“It's always live, it's always on,” Acunto said of the metaverse. “We believe fundamentally that being able to bring the best possible content to that live environment is super important.”

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Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage
Courtesy of Greater Good Health

The pandemic highlighted what’s been a growing trend for years: Medical students are prioritizing high-paying specialty fields over primary care, leading to a shortage of primary care doctors who take care of a patient’s day-to-day health concerns. These physicians are a cornerstone of preventative health care, which when addressed can lower health care costs for patients, insurers and the government. But there’s a massive shortage of doctors all over the country, and the pipeline for primary care physicians is even weaker.

One local startup is offering a possible answer to this supply squeeze: nurse practitioners.

On Wednesday, Manhattan Beach-based Greater Good Health unveiled $10 million in new funding led by LRVHealth, adding to $3 million in seed funding raised by the startup last year. The company employs nurse practitioners and pairs them with doctor’s offices and medical clinics; this allows nurse practitioners to take on patients who would otherwise have to wait weeks, or even months, to see a doctor.

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Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

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