Coronavirus Updates: Quibi's Possible Ad Woes; Warner's IPO Hopes; Disney Plans to Open Florida Theme Park

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.

  • Quibi may be struggling in advertising amid concerns about COVID-19 expenses
  • Disney to propose the opening of Florida's Disney World, could be blueprint for California
  • Are IPOs poised to make a comeback? Warner Music Group hopes so

    Quibi may be struggling in advertising amid concerns about COVID-19 expenses

    Quibi's struggles continue, as several major advertisers are asking to defer or extend their payment, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The requests come from Pepsi, Taco Bell, Anheuser-Busch and Walmart, and stem from the impact the coronavirus has had on the advertisers' business or concerns that the short-form video service launched in April is struggling to meet its viewer targets.

    Either way, it's more bad news for the startup that previously blazed its way to $1.75 billion in funding before ever acquiring a customer. The ability of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi's leaders, to charm content creators and woo advertisers was widely considered the platform's secret sauce leading up to launch.

    The private, Hollywood-based company raised $150 million worth of advertising from 10 companies that were presumably excited by Quibi's attempt to turn consumers' "on-the-go" moments into viewing time. But it's been a bumpy seven weeks. Subscriber numbers have disappointed, a patent infringement lawsuit lingers, and the service's core value proposition has been effectively wiped out by the stay-at-home reality ushered in by the coronavirus. The Journal also reported that Whitman, who has told dot.LA that she is committed to playing a long game, has instituted cost-cutting measures, including slowing down hiring.

    Are IPOs poised to make a comeback? Warner Music Group hopes so

    upload.wikimedia.org


    Warner Music Group announced is moving forward with its IPO, selling 13.7% of the company's common stock at $23 to $26 a share. That would bring the value of the Los Angeles-based company to about $13.3 billion. The company plans to offer 70 million shares at the launch, but no date has been set yet.

    The IPO would be one of the first big L.A. companies to wade into the public markets, and may represent a bit more optimism that the music industry is moving toward a streaming world — a pivot that is already paying off amid the pandemic for companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. HBO, the cable channeled owned by AT&T, launches its HBO Max service on Wednesday.

    Warner Music represents hundreds of top artists, ranging from Cardi B to David Bowie, and may use the IPO to position itself in a COVID-19 world where artists aren't able to perform in arenas or stadiums. Live Nation, a Beverly Hills-based entertainment company, recently furloughed hundreds of staff as the company was unable to sell tickets to events.

    Disney to propose opening Florida's Disney World, could be blueprint for California parks

    upload.wikimedia.org

    The Walt Disney Co. announced that Walt Disney World Resort executives will submit a proposal Wednesday to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida for a phased reopening of the resort's theme parks. Jim MacPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations, will give a virtual presentation of the proposed approach during the task force's online meeting

    The results could pave the way for Disney and other California theme parks closed by COVID-19 may reopen once the state hits the third stage of reopening. The state is currently on stage two, and there is no exact time frame when other non-essential business can open their doors — or turnstiles at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California.

    "Theme parks are slated to open in Stage 3 if the rate of spread of COVID-19 and hospitalizations remain stable," according to California Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson Kate Folmar.

    Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

    Cadence

    Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

    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.

    Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
    Courtesy of Regard

    Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

    Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

    Read moreShow less

    This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

    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 Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
    Image by Joshua Letona

    This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

    Read moreShow less

    How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA

    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.

    How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
    Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

    San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

    The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

    Read moreShow less
    https://twitter.com/KeerthiVedantam
    keerthi@dot.la
    RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
    LA TECH JOBS
    interchangeLA
    Trending