Quibi looks a lot like a very bad investment.
When the much-hyped streaming service was started earlier this year, it seemed like it had a shot.
It had a lot going for it: more than $2.4 billion invested by big name companies, exclusive content from high profile creators and a world population suddenly confined to their homes.
Fast forward six months: the widely panned service announced it will shut up shop. Despite a three-month trial and 9.6 million downloads, the service failed to find a significant audience while burning through a lot of its cash.
There have been many reasons attributed to Quibi’s lack of success: a lack of captivating content, a focus on mobile viewing (both in app design and production limits) while everyone was stuck at home, inability to share content via social media, and saturated streaming market, just to name a few.
And as soon as reports of the platform’s demise came out, investors began to circle to find out what, if anything, they would get back from their investments.
And it seems like the answer is: not much! Other services aren’t interested in buying the content, and there’s not that much else to sell off reportedly.
And among these unlucky investors is someone you may have heard of, according to the Australian Financial Review: the Australian Government’s Future Fund, an independent but government-owned investment fund.
“The Future Fund invested some $50 million in Quibi, a much-hyped video streaming service founded by movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg that said this week it would shut down after just six months operating,” senior correspondent Aaron Patrick wrote.
A spokesperson for the Fund confirmed the investment.
“As Quibi winds down we’ll be receiving capital back,” a Future Fund spokesman told the AFR. “It’s in the nature of venture capital that some investments don’t work and some produce outsize returns.”
While investors will get some money back, it’s fair to say that the Future Fund can probably just write this one off.
But hey, I guess that means that we’re all technically part-owners of Quibi.