The Disney+ streaming service lost subscribers for the first time. Also: Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft wobbles and former Salesforce co-CEO launches AI startup with Google veteran.
Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
The US entertainment company Walt Disney has announced a complete renovation after criticism from investors. The group is also cutting 7,000 jobs, or four percent of its employees. In streaming competition with Netflix and Amazon Disney lost subscribers for the first time. recorded at the end of the year Disney+ 161.8 million users worldwide. This is down 1 percent from the third quarter of 2022. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a reorganization into three segments: an entertainment unit called Disney Entertainment, a sports-focused division centered around the ESPN channel, and Disney Parks.
At the same time, Disney earned better than expected. For the quarter ended December, profit increased 11 percent year over year to $1.3 billion. Revenue climbed eight percent to $23.5 billion. The group thus exceeded forecasts. Iger also announced that Disney would resume paying a “moderate” dividend starting later this year. Disney shares are up more than 6 percent in after-hours trading. [Mehr bei CNBC, Handelsblatt und The Information]
On the founding scene: If Julia Wadhen found out about her pregnancy, she was about to secure an investment of 100,000 euros from an early-stage investor in Berlin. Then her problems started, like us the founder of the energy startup Novo told. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]
And here are the other headlines of the night:
Die Activision Blizzard-Take over by Microsoft is uncertain. After the US antitrust authority, the British antitrust authority CMA has now also expressed concerns. The largest purchase in video game history is currently being observed by several international antitrust authorities. The CMA warned that the acquisition could affect competition in the UK video games market. This primarily affects access to the “Call of Duty” series, it said. [Mehr bei Axios, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Handelsblatt und Wall Street Journal]
The former Co-CEO of SalesforceBret Taylor, launches an AI startup with the longtime GoogleManager Clay Bavor. “We’re excited to build a new company to use AI to solve some of the most pressing problems in business,” Bavor wrote in a Linkedin post. At the same time, he announced that he was leaving Google after 18 years. Bavor was previously vice president of Labs, a Google unit focused on forward-thinking projects. [Mehr bei Bloomberg, CNBC und The Information]
The business of Uber continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Gross bookings increased 19 percent to $30.7 billion in the fourth quarter. This resulted in a 49 percent increase in revenue — the share of fares Uber keeps. Most of the growth came from the Mobility ride-hailing business. Gross bookings at this unit rose 31 percent for the quarter, while delivery bookings grew just 6 percent. Overall, Uber reported an operating loss of $142 million compared to $550 million a year earlier. [Mehr bei CNBC, The Information und Wall Street Journal]
Affirm has announced that it will cut 19 percent of its workforce, or approximately 485 jobs. The financial technology company headquartered in San Francisco also announced that it was shutting down its crypto service. The company’s gross merchandise volume, which measures total customer transactions, was $5.66 billion for the quarter ended December, down from an expected range of $5.73 billion to $5.83 billion. Revenue less transaction costs totaled $144 million, which also fell short of its own forecasts. Affirm shares fell 18 percent in after-hours trading. [Mehr bei CNBC und The Information]
Die EU has a new one investment fund for cleantech company suggested. In response to the US government’s green subsidy program, EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager wants to help EU companies grow faster. At the Brussels summit on Thursday, the EU states will be discussing the competitiveness of European industry and the threat of emigration from future-oriented industries. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: convertible loan bring in money quickly and easily. However, a real round of financing usually makes more sense. We’ll tell you four insidious disadvantages of convertible loans that hardly any founder thinks about. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]
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A nice Thursday!
Your Gründerszene editors