Quibi is reportedly exploring strategic options including a possible sale

Jeffrey Katzenberg. Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Quibi
  • The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile-video startup, Quibi, which raised $US1.75 billion but has struggled to sign up subscribers, is considering a possible sale.
  • A possible sale is one of a few strategic options the company is reportedly considering, including raising more money, and going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile-video startup, Quibi, which raised $US1.75 billion, is exploring major strategic moves, including a possible sale of the company, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

According to the publication, which cited people familiar with the situation, Quibi is reviewing options with advisors including:

  • A possible sale
  • Another fund raise
  • Going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or a SPAC, that’s set up to fund such a deal

Quibi, which launched in April, has struggled to attract subscribers with its short-form, mobile-focused originals in the increasingly crowded streaming space. The Journal reported that Quibi was on pace to miss its initial paid subscriber target by a large margin, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Quibi spokesperson declined in a statement to comment on the speculation.

“Quibi has successfully launched a new business and pioneered a new form of storytelling and state-of-the-art platform,” the spokesperson said. Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman “are committed to continuing to build the business in the way that gives the greatest experience for customers, greatest value for shareholders and greatest opportunity for employees.”

In recent weeks, Quibi has ramped up its marketing to attract new subscribers and promote its original shows, as Business Insider recently reported.

While streaming services including Netflix saw big subscriber lifts during the pandemic, the Journal’s report suggests Quibi hasn’t benefitted from the pandemic in the way those rivals have. Quibi hasn’t publicly shared subscriber figures, but the company said in mid-June that it had garnered nearly 5 million downloads since its April launch.