Quibi raises another $750 million, a month before mobile streaming service launches
Quibi has raised a total of $1.75 billion for its unconventional strategy: big-budget, 10-minute videos you pay to watch only on your phone.
Joan E. SolsmanFormer Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Quibi, a star-studded mobile subscription service for short-form video, raised $750 million in its second round of funding, the company said Tuesday, about one month before its launch. Quibi had already attracted the spotlight for the $1 billion it raised in its first funding round in 2018, including backing from all the major Hollywood studios. With the latest round, brings Quibi's total raised is $1.75 billion.
The second round of funding involved existing investors as well as new ones, including studios, technology companies, strategic partners and financial investors, Quibi said, without naming them.
"We are not disclosing specific investors, but we have a very solid group of investors -- both strategic and financial," a Quibi spokeswoman said. The company's initial round of investors included all the major Hollywood studios, as well as Goldman Sachs and Chinese tech giant Alibaba.
Watch this: Quibi's video tech hopes to dazzle
The influx of money will give Quibi more time to advance its unconventional strategy of making very expensive programming in an untested format: a paywalled service with serialized videos lasting 10 minutes or less that you watch only on phones or mobile devices.
Quibi's ramp-up comes in the midst of a parade of new streaming services launching, as both tech and media giants are rushing to define the future of video. Facing upstart competition from Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Peacock and HBO Max, Quibi will be vying for your subscription dollars against established players like Netflix, too. Not to mention, Quibi will need to compete for your attention against YouTube, the Goliath of short videos online with its free service already drawing in more than 2 billion viewers every month.
Quibi is set to launch April 6, with $8-a-month ad-free memberships and a $5 monthly subscription that includes advertising.