EXCLUSIVE: New funding for an in-demand Silicon Valley scientist
Charles Koch – CEO of Koch Industries, broad-based power and commodities – has financed conservative groups that have raised suspicions about climate change, his family fate being part of considerable political influence. Over the past few years, Koch has also been a major investor in batteries – a key technology in a global effort to reduce carbon emissions.
A team from Coach Industries is betting that the fast-growing electric vehicle industry will create massive demand for better batteries. Its investment list includes Aspen Aerogels, EOS Energy Enterprise, Standard Lithium and now, Blue Current, a start-up run by Joseph DeSimon, one of Silicon Valley’s favorite scientists. Coach is investing $ 30 million in strategic platform BlueCurrent, which it will use to build a pilot and take it into production, Dealbook first reported.
“We’ll need a lot of batteries,” he said. Elon Musk said at a Tesla event last year. Wood Mackenzie estimates that 18 percent of new cars sold by 2030 will be electric, surpassing current battery output. Battery production is dominated by companies such as Tesla, Panasonic and LG Chem, but new players are emerging. According to Pitchbook, venture capitalists in the United States invested $ 1.8 billion in the industry in 2021, much higher than the previous year.
DeSimone has helped Blue Current to buzz. He holds more than 200 patents and left his long academic career in science at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University in 2013 to co-founded the 3-D manufacturing company Carbon. The company raised $ 680 million in private funding.) Decimon resigned as CEO in 2019, became chairman of its board, and joined the Stanford faculty the following year. Since then, Silicon Valley has been thinking: What’s next?
BlueCurrent has been working in stealth mode since 2016, When Decimon UC founded it with Professor Nitash Balsara of Berkeley. The company is betting on solid-state silicon as a higher technology than batteries that rely on lithium and liquid electrolytes, which are highly combustible. Battery fires are a real problem for electric vehicles: Last year, General Motors had to replace lithium-ion battery modules in 141,000 vehicles after catching some fires. Solid-state batteries using lithium or silicon are the next big thing for investors, but BlueCurrent says its silicon-based batteries are safe and have a particularly high power concentration, which means more charge in a smaller space.
No type of battery is “ready for prime time yet,” said Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science at the National Laboratory in Argonne, who did not directly evaluate BlueCurrent technology. The big question is whether companies in this fast-growing industry can increase production enough to be commercially viable. BlueCurrent now has new funds from a high-profile investor to prove itself.
What’s happening here?
Oil officials face a grilling for higher gas prices. At a congressional hearing today, leaders of Exxon, Chevron and other power companies may be asked if they are using the Ukraine invasion to make more money. They are expected to respond as the price of gas is determined by the market.
Deutsche Bank calls for a recession Bank analysts say the Fed’s fight against inflation will push the US economy into recession next year, becoming the first major bank to make its base-case forecast. “We no longer see the Fed making a soft landing,” analysts wrote in a report on Wave Making Wave.
JetBlue made a drama for Spirit Airlines. JetBlue’s $ 3.6 billion offer threatens the budget airline’s integration plan with Frontier, which was agreed in February. JetBlue’s bids are more valuable than Frontier, but analysts say merging with Frontier might be more appropriate. Either the combination will face an investigation of disbelief.
President Biden has suspended the payment of federal student loans until September. This will be the sixth such extension since the epidemic began. Delays occur less than a month before payment is scheduled to resume.
Executives left WarnerMedia before merging with Discovery. Jason Killer, chief of WarnerMedia, and Ann Sarnoff, chief executive of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, are stepping down. Killer streaming services focused on taking HBO Max to the ground, while Sarnov helped break down walls within many divisions of the company.
Elon Musk joins Twitter (in the boardroom)
Twitter announced yesterday that it would add Elon Musk, the billionaire leader of Tesla and SpaceX, to its board of directors. The appointment comes a week after discussions began by Musk about the company’s future, and Musk bought a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making him the company’s largest shareholder.
As part of a deal Musk will not be able to buy more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s shares, he has stopped saying he can mount an acquisition bid. But it will still have a huge impact on Twitter’s strategy, and investors seem excited: Twitter’s stock has risen nearly 30 percent in the past two days.
For Twitter, Musk’s appointment could change the way it manages its services. With competitors like Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, the use of algorithms to determine what users are watching has increased. Mask’s vision is to control users’ hands, giving them the tools to make their feeds feel appropriate. Jack Dorsey, who resigned as Twitter’s CEO in November, also argued for “decentralization” of social networks.
This can be risky. A decentralized Twitter may be a free platform, with implications for content moderation, misinformation, and other issues with combating social networks. Mask’s freewheeling tweets could also be a reaction when he became a Twitter insider. James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown Business School, told Dilbuck: “The SEC’s Elon Musk division will make fun of it.”
In 2018, Musk settled with the SEC and paid a fine for his market-running tweets about buying a Tesla that was not as likely as his advice. Since then, his tweets about the company must be verified by lawyers. He is now seeking to have the agreement revoked in court.
And the mask doesn’t already have quite a few works? Some research shows that CEOs and their firms benefit when their leaders are on external boards (but not too many boards). The Twitter position will be Musk’s only off-board appointment, but he has many executive posts (Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and Boring Company). Last month, when it was announced that Musk would step down from the board of Endeavor, a spokesman for the talent organization referred to his entire plate: “
“It’s very important to keep inflation low.”
– Lael Brainard, President Fidel’s nominee for Fed Governor and Vice President of the Central Bank, In a speech Investors took his remarks yesterday, along with similar statements from other Fed officials, as a sign Increased aggression rate Come on.
Bullish in Miami Crypto
The annual Bitcoin conference in Miami begins today, bringing about 30,000 cryptocurrency fans to a city whose mayor has identified it as a global crypto hub. The mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, is competing with Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, to attract crypto companies, both of which have recently converted their paychecks into digital currency to show support for the industry.
This morning, as Suarez moves forward, the Dilbook first reports, presiding over the unveiling of an 11-foot, 3,000-pound statue of a charging bull, reminiscent of the iconic Wall Street piece but updated with “laser eyes” crypto enthusiasts sometimes In favor of social media. “The future of money is in Miami,” Suarez told Dilbook in a statement. “Miami Bull Our position in the global financial market, in particular, is a physical representation of our city’s commitment to the advancement and adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Miami’s crypto ambitions are big, And so far Suarez’s plan seems to be working, thanks to Florida’s low taxes, good weather and relaxed restrictions during the epidemic. According to Pitchbook, venture capital investments in Miami-area crypto companies increased from $ 6 million in 2020 to $ 745 million in 2021. But it’s still far below San Francisco and New York City, where crypto companies raised $ 7.4 billion and $ 4.7 billion, respectively, last year.
About that bull. The Miami Bull was commissioned by The TradeStation, a South Florida company that builds trading platforms, and created advertising and branding agencies by working with an artist and studio. It is made of mixed resin, a “unique future material, which symbolizes the future progress of money,” according to its makers. The statue will be on a campus at Miami Dead College.
Russia says foreign banks have refused to process $ 649 million in bond payments, so it has sent rubles through local banks instead. New restrictions on the Russian government’s access to the dollar for bond payments are pushing it closer to default. (Bloomberg, NYT)
“Why is it so difficult to track Putin’s wealth” (NYT)
The channel will stop selling their products to those who want to use them in Russia; Intel has suspended its operations in Russia; And Twitter is limiting access to Russian state-run accounts. (BBC, Reuters, NYT)
For the latest developments, check out the Times Live Blog and updated maps
Amazon is buying dozens of rocket launches to set up its high-speed satellite internet service. (Bloomberg)
HSBC has expanded its stake in its joint venture with Chinese Securities, taking almost complete control of mainland operations. (WSJ)
The crypto exchange bought a “significant” share of the FTX IEX, the stock exchange being famous for the book “Flash Boys”. (Bloomberg)
A businessman who advertised in a newspaper for a fake $ 13.8 billion bid for defense company Textron has been charged with criminal and civil offense. (Reuters)
In a ruling against Amazon, the SEC said the tech giant’s shareholders could hold a resolution calling on the company to pay more taxes in a vote. (FT)
How billionaires talk about their money in Washington. (NYT Magazine)
The SEC said some employees of its enforcement department had inappropriately gained access to documents prepared for the agency’s internal court hearings. (WSJ)
The rest is the best
Goldman Sachs had a record number of internship applications, and its acceptance rate was just over 1 percent. (CNBC)
The White House is still waiting for the new Air Force One aircraft after a manufacturing accident at Boeing. (WSJ)
Howard Schultz promised to take Starbucks to the NFT business before the end of the year. (Internal)
“You’re still being tracked on the Internet, just in a different way” (NYT)
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