The Wall Street Journal reported sources saying founder Jeffrey Katzenberg “called investors to tell them he is shutting the service down.” That follows The Information’s report of Katzenberg unsuccessfully pitching Quibi as an acquisition to Apple, Facebook and Warner Media.
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However, Quibi didn’t come onto the scene until about six months ago, just as the global pandemic was in full swing. Users could subscribe to the service, which offers 5-minute to 10-minute “chapters” of shows featuring Hollywood stars such as Chrissy Teigen, Kevin Hart and Anna Kendrick.
WSJ reported the company’s challenges ranged from attracting and retaining subscribers to coming into a market that was already saturated.
In total, Quibi raked in $1.75 billion in funding in two rounds, according to Crunchbase data. The first was a $1 billion venture round in 2018 led by Madrone Capital Partners that included high-profile investors The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner and Alibaba Group. The second was a $750 million private equity round announced in March.
Photo: Jeffrey Katzenberg demonstrates Quibi’s Turnstyle technology at Sundance 2020 on January 24, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Quibi)