“2024’s Inaugural SPAC Failure in the Space Industry: Astra Takes the Title”

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Astra Space, the launch company that went public in 2021 at a $2.1 billion valuation, is going private again after months of burning cash and failing to secure alternate investment. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024, at which time Astra will cease trading on the Nasdaq. In an investor presentation from February 2021, Astra touted a “mass produced portable launch system” that could launch from anywhere in the world. At the time Astra completed its SPAC merger it also acquired Apollo Fusion, an electric propulsion developer for spacecraft, with the aim of integrating those systems into an Astra satellite constellation. That constellation never came to fruition, however, and while the company did succeed in selling many Apollo Fusion propulsion systems it has struggled to turn that backlog into revenue.

Status of Investment Ventures in India

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State of venture investments in India, according to Lightspeed Lightspeed partners examine right-sizing VC funds in India, spectrum of startup investing and the country's prospects in the global AI race. Over 150 investors, including Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek and Malaysia’s Khazanah, gathered at Mumbai’s five-star Trident Oberoi hotel on a recent Friday for venture firm Lightspeed India Partners’ “Lift Off” summit. In 2021, $33 billion of venture capital (early and late stage) was invested in India. So 2023 is also not necessarily reflective of the venture market opportunity in India,” he added. “We had a lot of funds not based in India but investing in India because of the opportunity the country offered to them outside their own.

A Gap in Perspective: AI in 2021 vs. the Rest of the Startup Market in 2024

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It’s 2021 for AI while the rest of the startup market is stuck in 2024Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, and welcome back to Equity, the podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. This is our Monday show, in which we take a look back at the weekend and the week ahead. This time ’round, there was so much in the news that we had to greatly compress everything we wanted to talk about. Here’s the rundown:Like I said, it’s a busy start to the week!

TuSimple’s Autonomous Truck Fleets Available for Bidding After Pulling Out of the U.S. Market

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Ten of TuSimple’s autonomous big rigs are set to be auctioned off later this month, just a few weeks after the self-driving trucking startup that went public in 2021 announced it was exiting the U.S. market. The trucks, along with a slew of research and development equipment and office supplies, will be sold off in two online auctions. A spokesperson for the auction company confirmed 10 trucks will “initially” be sold. The company went public in 2021 and was swiftly scrutinized by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States over its Chinese shareholders. In December, the company said it would exit the U.S. altogether and laid off more than 150 workers as a result.

Some Secondary Investors Claim that Certain Valuations Remain Excessively High

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Startup valuations — especially at the later stages — have come down drastically over the last year and a half of the ongoing market correction. Companies that once boasted sky-high valuations like Klarna and Getir have seen their valuations slashed in their latest funding rounds. Outside of Klarna and Getir, though, very few late-stage companies have raised new primary rounds since the booming 2021 market. This is a noticeable haircut from the $25 billion valuation it garnered in 2021. A recent survey of venture secondaries investors found that for those who focus on the industry, many think prices may still have room to drop.