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Monday, May 29, 2023

Silicon Beach Report March 19: Backstage Capital Backtracks

SpaceX considers Starship launch test; Backstage Capital fails to raise fund; Gravitas Ventures offers streaming service

Backstage Capital Faces Funding Troubles

Arlan Hamilton, the co-founder of West Hollywood-based and minority-focused investment fund Backstage Capital is scaling back her plans, according to Axios, which said Hamilton was unable to raise the planned $36 million fund. Instead she will transition the business to an accelerator, called Backstage Studio. The firm will also reportedly lay off employees to cut costs. Hamilton told Axios that Backstage Studio has “generated $3 million over the past 14 months via corporate sponsorships,” and may continue to raise the fund at a later date.

Gravitas Ventures Launches Streaming Outfit

There’s a new streaming firm in town. Film distribution outfit Gravitas Ventures, based in El Segundo, is launching a $4.99 monthly subscription service for access to a library of more than 1,000 titles. The firm enters a crowded field, with Hulu, Netflix, QuiBi, PlutoTV, and Crackle already squabbling for market share. Variety reports the new venture, called Gravitas Movies, will attempt to differentiate itself by offering “attractive indie titles.”

Starship Test Launches Could Begin This Week

SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft aims to engage in a low altitude test flight this week in South Texas, according to ArsTechnica. In a series of tweets, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said the test vehicle will include one Raptor rocket engine as opposed to the typical three and noted the vehicle should be “ready to fly again immediately after landing.” Musk hopes to get the vehicle to the Moon or Mars in the near future.

Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at samore@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.

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