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A New Studio Aims to Make Films for the Metaverse

An L.A.-based film animation studio and the video game developer behind the global sensation “Fortnite” announced today that they’re partnering to create films that can be “seamlessly ported” into the metaverse. Spire Animation will use Epic Games’ technology to create its characters and worlds, blending the big screen and gaming realms.

Here’s what else we’re reading in the news:

- Creator Now, an online film school for YouTubers, raises $3 million in seed funding.

- L.A.-based EVgo is opening electric vehicle charging stations in the Midwest in partnership with grocery chain Meijer.

- Stage, a digital community focused on supporting breast cancer patients, launches.

- Universal Hydrogen, which converts aircraft to run on hydrogen power, partners with French airliner Amelia.

- NFTs will make an appearance at this year’s Coachella music festival.

Spire Animation Plans to Bring Movies Into the Metaverse

Spire Animation Studios, a new animation firm co-founded by “Ratatouille” producer Brad Lewis, has raised $20 million in funding led by “Fortnite” video game developer Epic Games.

Launch House Raises $12 Million to Expand into the Metaverse

The live-in startup accelerator—which began in a Beverly Hills mansion in 2020—plans to take its residency program to new locations and to roll out verticals like Hack House, which it bills as a Launch House for engineers.

Snap Is Getting Into Livestreaming Virtual Concerts

Social media giant Snap is teaming with Universal Pictures to present its first-ever virtual show, starring Jennifer Lopez and Colombian singer Maluma.

Smart TV Adtech Firm MNTN Raises $119 Million 

The company specializes in the growing “smart TV” market—selling software that lets brands buy connected TV ads and track their performance in real time. MNTN claims its platform makes running connected TV ads as simple as advertising through online search engines or social media.

Healthy Soda Alternative Olipop Will Expand Nationally

Olipop has gained notable traction in Los Angeles—having made its debut at one of L.A.’s buzziest grocers and assembled an enviable cadre of celebrity backers. Today, it unveiled a new $30 million Series B funding round that it will use to grow its team, develop more flavors and products, and expand its ecommerce and wholesale channels.

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