Virtual reality has excited traditional entertainment companies too. On Tuesday, ABC’s “Good Morning America” plans to stream to virtual reality viewers a live feed of animals “in their natural habit” in Tanzania.
A big lull. It’s still early in the year but already three Los Angeles-based investors are seeing a significant slowdown in start-up investment deals. It’s no surprise given the plunge in value that many publicly traded technology companies have absorbed over the last couple of months. Data show the industry has suffered such spells before, but this one is having a pronounced effect on start-ups, which are finding funding harder to come by.
Yet another investor, TX Zhuo of Karlin Ventures, echoed similar sentiments about the 2016 slowdown in an online post last week with colleague Erin Shipley. They noted the growth in “bridge rounds,” or financing deals smaller than what a company has previously raised.
Writers sought. Entertainment website Moviepilot announced it would pay entertainment and pop culture writers $1 for every 1,000 views generated by stories they post on a new portal, Creators.co.
Elsewhere on the Web. Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai has agreed to buy Irvine-based technology distributor Ingram Micro for $6 billion, according to the Financial Times. Research firm Dealogic said the deal would be the largest Chinese acquisition of a U.S. tech company -- that is if U.S. regulators approve it, and given worries about U.S. tech getting in the wrongs hands in China, that’s no certainty.
-- Prominent Southern California venture capitalist Mark Suster is ready for the bubble to burst, partially because he learned a big lesson after he drank his own Kool-Aid, he tells L.A. Weekly.
-- Online media company Attn: Inc., based in West Hollywood, has raised $18.5 million from Evolution Media Partners, former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn and others to continue to bring more video to its politically liberal advocacy website, according to the L.A. Business Journal.
-- Los Angeles-based Mahmee was one of the hottest companies at a demo day last week for participants in the 500 Startups mentorship program, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal. Mahmee provides personalized, online support for mothers after pregnancy.
-- Shares of car-search service TrueCar dipped below $5 last week, almost reaching an all-time closing-price low, after the company reported disappointing quarterly earnings and weaker-than-expected revenue forecasts. On Monday, shares slid 5.2% and did hit that low, closing at $4.78.
-- Santa Monica-based Hulu bought a small digital-image-processing start-up in Seattle and now employs more than 70 people in that city, according to Geek Wire.
-- The NBA and game publisher 2K are getting into e-Sports with a tournament for "NBA 2K16," according to Fortune. A $250,000 championship will be awarded during the NBA Finals in June.
-- Amazon.com-owned live-streaming website Twitch announced it will host its second annual fan conference at the San Diego Convention Center this fall after hosting the first one in San Francisco, according to Engadget.
-- Glu Mobile is still searching for a mobile game that matches the success of the “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game.” Its latest try is a game featuring Kardashian’s younger sisters Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner. PerezHilton has a look at some fan reactions to the game.
In case you missed it. Dollar Shave Club filed a counterclaim against Gillette in a battle of the blades. Razor start-up Bevel is finding success in the black community. Commercial carpooling (although it's illegal) is growing in L.A., Uber and Lyft say. Movie ticket buying service Fandango bought reviews tracker Rotten Tomatoes and video app Flixster from Warner Bros. Entertainment for an undisclosed amount.
Coming up. Start-up event TechDay announced that it will return to Los Angeles for the second straight year. West Coast TechDay on Sept. 22 aims to bring together 300 companies and 10,000 attendees, including media, investors and the general public at the Reef on South Broadway. Organizers roped in 125 companies and 3,000 attendees last year.