Facebook acquires a popular GIF search engine, video game sales see major growth and Sorrentino reports promising results for a COVID-19 treatment.
Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 15, 2020.
Facebook will acquire Giphy, the web-based animated GIF search engine and platform provider. The company confirmed the deal but isn’t disclosing the terms; Axios reports that it’s worth around $400 million.
Giphy has grown to be a central source for shareable, high-engagement content, and its animated response GIFs are available across Facebook’s platforms, as well as through other social apps and services. Most notably, Giphy provides built-in search and sticker functions for Facebook’s Instagram, and it will continue to operate in that capacity.
New numbers from NPD confirm what we’ve known for a while: The first quarter of 2020 was a very good one for gaming companies. The new report notes that sales hit a record $10.86 billion in the U.S. between January and March of this year, marking a 9% increase over a year prior.
Therapeutics company Sorrento has made what it says could be a breakthrough in potential treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. The company released details of its preclinical research on Friday, announcing that it has found an antibody that provides “100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection of healthy cells after four days incubation.”
The 11-year-old firm did not disclose the exact number of people it was letting go, but the number is above 500. A Zomato spokesperson told TechCrunch that the startup employs about 4,000 people and the layoff impacts its workforce globally.
New data out today details how U.S.-based VCs fared in Q1 2020, giving us a window into how flush the financial class of startup land was as it headed into the COVID-19 era. The short answer is that big funds raised lots of cash, while smaller funds appear to have put in a somewhat lackluster quarter. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
At face value, this acquisition seems a little strange for Apple — the company has been pushing full-throttle on mobile AR, largely eschewing public activity or interest in the VR world. But virtual reality might feel like a safer investment at the moment.
It’s an equity-free, eight-week program that includes workshops, access to mentors from SoftBank and the WeWork community and sessions with SoftBank executives. It all culminates in a showcase event for investors and SoftBank partners.
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