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Richard Branson Takes a Lead Over Jeff Bezos in Battle for Space
Richard Branson, the famed founder of Virgin Galactic, and his team consisting of Virgin Galactic employees created history by pulling off a successful space launch aboard the ShapeShipTwo spaceplane.
The space mission named Unity 22 was Branson’s first trip to the edge of space and fourth test flight for the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane.
Branson has been working on this trip to the edge of space for over a decade. Thus, it was a big moment for the Virgin Galactic founder.
On Sunday, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo spaceplane touched down in New Mexico, cementing Richard Branson’s lead over Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
Amazon’s former CEO will board a Blue Origin spaceplane along with his brother and a mystery bidder who spent $28 million to join the duo.
VU Raises $12 Million to Improve Digital User Experience
Argentina-based VU has some impressive plans to improve the user experience while interacting through digital channels.
The company aims to remove the cybersecurity hassles (giving a significant amount of information) that a user has to go through to verify their identity online.
VU’s technology combines a variety of elements including geolocation, biometrics and an in-depth user behavior analysis to verify the users identity.
It essentially takes all these variables and creates an ‘online persona’ which is apparently as secure as entering in identifying information.
To achieve its mission, VU raised $12 million in Series B funding from some of the leading venture capital firms. It includes Globant, Bridge One, NXTP Ventures, the IDB Lab, Agrega Partners, and Telefónica.
With successful Series B funding, VU has so far raised $20 million in venture capital.
The story about how Stranieri came up with the idea for VU is quite interesting. In 2007, Stranieri was assisting his grandmother to verify her identity with the Argentinian government.
It took Stranieri two minutes to complete the process, but it made him realize how cumbersome it is for a user to verify their identity online. Stranieri told TechCrunch:
“It pushed me to create a company to help create digital experiences without the friction.”
With Futures Down by 100 Points, the Dow Begin Downturn Journey
Dow Jones Industrial average futures have started retreating from the highs it saw last week.
The Dow futures were down by 0.37% or 128 points, whereas there was a 0.1% drop in S&P futures. Nasdaq 100 futures, on the other hand, continued to remain green by gaining 0.4%.
As for the 10-year Treasury yield, it was down to 1.343% after shedding 1.3 basis points.
Its impact was felt on the bank shares, too, as they continued declining despite strong earnings reports this week. As a result, the shares of JPMorgan and Bank of America were in the red.
The major technology stocks like Facebook, Apple, and Tesla continued to remain in the green.
As for Virgin Galactic, their shares were up by 2%.
After all, Richard Branson created history by reaching and returning successfully from the edge of space.
To Capitalize on Its Growth, Reddit Announces a New Office in Australia
The social media giant Reddit is opening a new office in Sydney, Australia, to capitalize on its growth in the Australian market.
Reddit’s major objective behind opening an office in Australia is to get more local advertisers onboard their platform.
Reportedly, Australia is the fourth largest market for Reddit. The social media behemoth explained their decision through a blog post, where they mentioned:
“[Australian Redditors] collectively contribute 158 million posts, comments and votes on the platform every month. 62% of our Australian users sit in the highly desirable 18–34 year old segment, with 28% aged between 35–49.”
Over the past nine months, Reddit has also opened offices in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Reddit also claims that its Australian user base is interested in a variety of topics, but cryptocurrency, gaming, and entertainment trumps all.
The most Australia-focused popular subreddit is r/australia, and it has over 700,000 members.
Elon Musk Pays $10,000 to Book a Ticket on Virgin Galactic’s Spaceplane
The billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has deposited $10,000 to book a ticket on the future space flights on Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane to the edge of the space.
This news was disclosed by none other than the Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson in an interview with The Sunday Times.
The dates when Elon Musk will onboard the Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane haven’t been finalized yet.
But Virgin Galactic aims to begin commercial flights to the edge of space by 2022.
Anyone who wishes to visit the edge of the space on Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane will have to shell out $250,000.
So far, 600 people from 58 countries have already bought a ticket from Virgin Galactic.
Interestingly, it also includes many celebrities like Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga.