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Weekly Tech Recap: How Tech Is Changing What It Means To Be a Fan
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This week, we saw the investment arm of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group bet on sports and entertainment startup Vaunt—which partners with athletes and artists to stream content, sell merchandise and offer NFTs. It also produces “alternative sports competitions” and content such as a FIBA three-on-three basketball tournament and a beer-less pong league pitting celebrities against one another.

For many years, the sports industry has relied on attracting fans to buy tickets and watch games on TV. That’s where fans have traditionally been, and where the bulk of revenue is made. Much depends on media rights and where the games get aired.

But, as Ludis Capital co-founder Matilda Sung said earlier this week, that's changing quickly. Younger fans are much less likely to watch a full game -- in person or on TV; There's simply too much competing for their attention, she said. One strategy the industry has adopted is gamifying the sports experience for viewers by offering NFTs and allowing them to bet.

“Whether it be metaverses or cryptocurrencies or fan tokens, or NFTs, you've now introduced this other format or vehicle to call upon which to further engage the fan on a much more intimate basis,” Sung added.

Here’s What Happened in LA’s Entertainment Tech World This Week 🍿

Activision shareholders voted to approve the video game developer's $69 billion merger with Microsoft.

Can the metaverse concept ever go mainstream? For many consumers, buying a VR headset is not in the cards.

As Netflix's stock price falls, employees are weighing their future at the streaming company.

Activision Blizzard’s revenues declined as its "Call of Duty" franchise underperformed and it reported delays for other popular titles.

Three-on-three basketball and celebrity, beer-less pong are just a couple of the offerings you’ll soon be able to stream on Vaunt’s network.

Social Media 📱

Snap announces a new flying camera accessory called Pixy, a pocket-size drone that offers aerial views for selfies.

TikTok—the video-sharing app once almost banned in the U.S.—continues to dominate the social media landscape.

With its recent acquisition of AMA Digital, L.A. startup Jellysmack will get more Youtube data analytics to boost its creator program.

Transportation 🚗

Rivian's one-megawatt investment in a solar farm will power its EV chargers located in Tennessee state parks, among "other clean energy commitments in the region."

With all the hubbub around Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and Tesla’s stock slide, an important piece of Tesla news may have been overlooked this week.

Divergent Technologies wants to radically change automotive manufacturing with 3D printing.

Escooter company Lime is rolling out its new eco-friendly vehicles in L.A., replacing all 7,000 of its local fleet by summer.

Venture Capital 💰

It’s already raised $835 million. Here’s why Anduril Industries' wants to raise an additional $1 billion in its next round.

Ruth Health is a telehealth startup focused on prenatal and postpartum care.

Are you a fan of Johnnie-O’s preppy polo shirts? The apparel brand just landed its first institutional investor to help it grow.

Thinking about starting a company? Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff kicks off a new series on "How to Start Up" with a look at how to brainstorm a business idea.

🎧 Listen Up 

April Gargiulo helped her parents launch a winery business. Their commitment to using the best raw materials possible became the bedrock for her own skincare company.

Sports fans aren’t as engaged with the game as they used to be. Ludis Capital’s Matilda Sung says NFTs and betting could change what it means to be a fan.


While SpaceX uses extra fuel for a soft landing back to Earth, Rocket Lab wants to catch its boosters in mid-air.

Telehealth has emerged as a game-changing technology in health care, so why hasn’t it reached those who could use it most?

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s executive chairman and CEO are accusing each other of attempting to seize control of the company.

Elon Musk is moving another one of his companies out of California, opting instead for Texas.

Miso Robotics’ burger-flipping robot Flippy is finding its way to another major fast food chain.


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