December 15th, 2015

How ill-fated startup Quibi went from raising $1.75 billion before launch to shutting down just 6 months later

Quibi appRafapress/Shutterstock

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Quibi is officially dead, after launching during the COVID-19 pandemic and surviving just six months. On Wednesday, the company announced that it was shutting down and informed employees that they would be laid off.

Quibi started out as an idea for short content on mobile devices from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Long before launching, the streaming company had big Hollywood names attached, and raised $1.75 billion. It debuted in April during the pandemic, which Katzenberg blamed in part for the failure. 

Read more: A Quibi investor says the startup should have tried to 'fight more' but that he'll be happy if he can get 50% of his investment back

The platform had major investors, famous Silicon Valley and Hollywood names, and star power. Here's how it went from buzzy to defunct.

In August 2018, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman created NewTV, a digital video startup that aimed to create "snackable" short content for smartphones.Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

Source: LA Times

That month, NewTV revealed it had secured $1 billion in funding from big names including Walt Disney, Warner Media, and Alibaba Group. At this point, no content had been announced.Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Source: LA Times

In October, they announced the service would be called Quibi, short for "quick bites." "Jeffrey can't stop saying the name Quibi," Whitman said. "I think that will be a fun name for us."Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Source: Deadline

Quibi signed a 10 year lease for an undisclosed amount for 49,000 square feet of office space in Hollywood.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Source: LA Times

By December, Katzenberg was already predicting launching as soon as 2019, with a two tier price system.Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Quibi

Source: LA Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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