The 11th Hour Dispatch – Friday, May 4, 2018

| May 4, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

Univision is the latest to launch a new streaming service. The service, which is an extension of Univision’s live streaming service Univision Now, will offer subscribers its Spanish-language programming as well as content from Univision’s partners BBC Studios, RTVE, Televisa, and Viacom. The new platform will feature four content verticals when it launches next month: dramas, unscripted, children’s programming, and international telenovelas. The service will cost $7.99 per month, but current Univision Now subscribers can dish out an additional $2.99 more per month to unlock the rest of the content. 

YOUNG MONEY

The OG beauty subscription box Birchbox has sold majority ownership to one of its original investors, Viking Global Investors, after sales talks with QVC fell through. This brings months of acquisition talks to a bittersweet end. Viking Global has agreed to invest $15 million of new cash into Birchbox, which will essentially leave any other current investors with nothing to show for their previous injections. The beauty company was once valued near $500 million and has raised $90 million in financing since 2010. Birchbox claims to have 2.5 million active subscribers bringing in revenue somewhere in the ballpark of $200 million, but with a massive increase in competition over the years, the company has struggled to grow quickly enough to keep up. Viking Global is taking over a company that is “tens of millions of dollars in debt” and has already had to secure lifeline funding of $15 million in 2016 after it failed to raise the funding amount it sought.

BIG BUSINESS

It’s a sad day for people with no social life (hello, it’s me). Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann has shelved the planned second coming of the popular social video app due to “financial and legal hurdles.” The “indefinite” stall of the app, which was deemed v2, was announced on v2 forums this morning. Hofmann wrote, “Long story short, in order to work, the v2 project needs to operate as a company with sizable external funding, probably from investors.” He then cites that this would be a difficult undertaking for him as he is already in the middle of development for another early-stage startup, the creative interactive content studio Innerspace VR. He didn’t completely put the idea to bed though. Hofmann noted that any coding and planning that had been done on the project still exists. He just needs the resources to make it happen well. In January, Hofmann projected the app would be live this summer. After an outpouring of support for a Vine reboot last year following Twitter’s January 2017 shutdown of the app, Hofmann began working on v2 thinking he could self-fund the project.

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

Trader Joe’s podcast is blowing up the charts right now if you want to learn more about what goes on behind-the-scenes of your weekly grocery shopping panic attack.

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