Good morning and Happy Friday! Oof, it has been a long week! But, before we head into the weekend, here’s today’s scoop: Quibi is exploring strategic options, California is to ban sales of new gas-powered cars, Carvana’s father and son duo is $5 billion richer in a day, and Ring’s new security camera already drew criticisms.
Quibi Explores Strategic Options Including Sales
SOS! Streaming service Quibi is reportedly exploring various strategic options — including a (gasp!) possible sale.
Quibi is an upstart for video streaming founded by Hollywood mogul, Jeffrey Katzenberg. The company focuses on a short-form style of programming with episodes lasting between five and 10 minutes. It was one of the most hyped new companies in Hollywood back in 2018.
What are the struggles?
The company is plagued with quite a few conflicts since its inception:
It struggled to meet its subscriber targets after its debut during the pandemic.
It’s on pace to miss its initial paid subscriber target by a large margin.
The company’s founder and Chief Executive had a very public clash, with the latter threatening to quit before the pair eventually made up.
Quibi is also battling a patent lawsuit by interactive-video company Eko.
What are the options?
According to sources, Quibi is exploring several strategic options to dig itself out of the hole. This includes a possible sale, raising more money, and going public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — basically a blank-check company that helps fund deals.
Unsurprisingly, Quibi declined to comment on whether there’s any truth to this news.
Amazon Just Launched a New Security Camera That Flies Around Inside Your House
Amazon’s smart security division, Ring, has a new invention and it’s flying high. Well, not that high — maybe just to your ceiling. Ring’s security camera — Always Home Cam — is basically a tiny drone that flies around inside your home to give you viewpoints of multiple areas of your home.
The Always Home Cam is expected to cost $249.99 when shipping begins next year. But, here’s the kicker: it will be available via invitation only.
Give me all the details
Ring’s founder and “chief inventor” says that the company has spent the past two years on focused development of the device and that it’s an “obvious product that is very hard to build.”
Here are more details on the security camera:
It’s fully autonomous but owners can ‘tell’ it what path to take and where to go.
The drone can be commanded to fly on demand when a disturbance is detected.
The charging dock blocks the camera’s view. So, the camera only records when it’s in flight.
The Always Home Cam makes an audible noise so it’s obvious when footage is being recorded.
It features obstacle avoidance technology to allow it to avoid objects in its path.
Mere hours after the announcement, the Always Home Cam is already a trending topic with many people concerned that the drone invades privacy and pushes the boundaries of surveillance. Others are more forthright and simply label the invention “creepy.”
Carvana Made Its Owners $5 Billion Richer in a Day
Show me the money! The father and son duo — Ernie Garcia II and his son Ernest Garcia III — behind Carvana, the online retailer that sells cars out of vending machines, is $5 billion richer in just a day.
While Carvana has yet to post a quarterly profit since going public in 2017, the company’s shares surged 31% on Tuesday after it projected record revenue and profit margins. Why the sudden good fortune? Well, Carvana’s stock has rallied almost 150% this year as more Americans are buying used cars online.
Introduce me to Carvana
The online-only Carvana allows customers to shop, finance, sell, or trade-in cars through its website. If a customer is purchasing, they can pick up their car using a giant coin at various vending machines located around the country.
The company’s revenue doubled to $3.9 billion in 2019 as it sold about 200,000 cars. Now, it expects to see 2 million sales in a year.
California To Ban Sales of New Gas-Powered Cars by 2035
California plans to ban the sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
In an executive order, Gov. Newsom directed regulators to develop a plan that would require car-makers to sell more zero-emission passenger vehicles — including battery or hydrogen-powered vehicles — until they make up 100% of new auto sales by 2035.
There’s a goal for all heavy-duty trucks to be zero emissions by 2045, too. Plus, the state’s transportation agencies are also instructed to look for near-term actions to reduce Californian’s reliance on driving.
The aim here is to accelerate California’s efforts to fight global warming amid the deadly and record-breaking wildfire season.
The plan is not without its challenges
As the plan introduces quite a few changes, there are multiple hoops to jump through and challenges to overcome. Par for the course, really:
Experts said that this would be an enormous challenge considering its relatively short timeline.
Besides setting new standards for automakers in the state, California will likely need to increase financial incentives for people to afford EV as well as drastically expand its charging infrastructure.
The Trump Administration has challenged the state’s authority to set its own pollution standards for cars and trucks. This dispute has yet to be settled by the courts.
Vigilantes assembled? Spotify, Match Group, Epic Games, and other smaller app rivals have created a nonprofit alliance to fight Apple and Google.
Jack Ma… who? China’s new richest man, Zhong Shanshan, made his fortune from popular Chinese bottled water brand Nongfu Spring.
Mars is changing the name and branding of its Uncle Ben’s rice products after anger over racial stereotyping.
Bad news: Shopify confirms data breach and blames “rogue” employees for stealing customer data from “less than 200 merchants.”
- The day has come: Facebook’s long-awaited oversight board is to start operating in October.