Last week, Relativity Space announced the Terran R, a fully reusable rocket to rival SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Its new Terran R rocket will be fully reusable, unlike Falcon 9 which is only has one reusable stage. Furthermore, Relativity Space thinks they can 3D print a rocket in 60 days, as it did with Terran 1, the first of Relativity’s fleet. CEO Tim Ellis thinks 3D printing can be the new “tech stack for aerospace” to make manufacturing faster and less expensive with software-defined technology. Ellis also believes that 3D printing is the answer to scaling and sustaining interplanetary expeditions, with a goal of printing a rocket on Mars. As additive printing would be easy to transport, Relativity hopes that the technology can help in early settlement and exploration. Relativity is disrupting aerospace by replacing inflexible fixed tooling and complex supply chains with automated additive printing, and we’re excited to see what they produce!
A recent $1B equity funding round has positioned Klarna as the highest-valued private fintech in Europe, with a post-money valuation of $31B. This also puts Klarna as the second highest-valued private fintech in the world. 15 years in the making, Klarna is a global payment and shopping service aimed at making online shopping simpler, most well-known for buy now, pay later (BNPL) services. Alongside the funding round, Klarna announced it will pledge 1% of its raised capital to sustainable initiatives, to be launched on 22 April (aka Global Earth Day). CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski hopes that other fintechs will follow suit in sustainable investments. The question now is when will Klarna go public, following competitors Afterpay and Affirm. Like Altio, Klarna wants to do-away with outdated traditional models of the banking world, disrupting finance for a modern and accessible future.
Microsoft has announced a mixed reality platform, Microsoft Mesh, for developers to build immersive, cross-platform, holographic applications. Lead HoloLens developer Alex Kipman claims, “The key benefit of mixed reality has always been the ability to represent self across both space and time.” Using avatars or holoportation, Mesh will enable users to connect as if they were working in the same space, very much aligned with Microsoft’s mission of business-focused empowerment. With a toolkit of spatial maps, multiuser sync, holographic rendering, and immersive presence, Mesh is built on Azure and will work on HoloLens 2 (released in 2019), VR headsets, and smart devices with Mesh-enabled apps. This technology has the potential to usher in the era of the metaverse, the fourth wave of computing. It’s not here yet though, and Altio is monitoring developments in this area closely. The developers who use this technology will be the ones to create and develop the metaverse beyond mere conceptual ideas, like those shown in Microsoft’s introductory videos into the technology.