SpaceX Funding Secured; Tilray Partners With Novartis To Sell Weed; Kroger Launches Driverless Delivery Vehicle

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

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X GON’ GIVE IT TO YA

spacex

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Falcon 9 Rocket Launch


Well, technically, Baillie Gifford & Co as well as a group of current shareholders plan to give $500M to SpaceX at a $3.5B valuation. But I digress. Elon Musk, who is starting to look more and more like that guy you bought weed from in high school, plans to use the cash to ramp up the company’s internet service biz.

SpaceX’s current cash cow remains government and private satellite launches. The company is a pioneer in the field, with 20 successful launches in 2018 alone. A 21st was scrapped early yesterday due to an “out of family reading on first stage sensors.” Whatever the f*ck that actually means.

But the recent batch of VC money will help get SpaceX’s Starlink (which sounds a lot like Skynet) off the ground. Starlink will launch 11k satellites into low orbit that will help ensure internet connectivity to the world over. So definitely Skynet.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Because there are kids in Africa who deserve to feel the heartbreak of getting the final questions of HQ Trivia wrong.”

 

FULLY BAKED

Tilray shares opened nearly 10% higher Tuesday following an announcement that the “big cannabis” company will partner with pharmaceutical giant Novartis to distribute the chronic for chronic illnesses. Pharma bros, indeed.

The match made in stoner heaven got its start in 2017 when Tilray signed a similar deal with a Novartis subsidiary, Sandoz, to distribute and sell cannabis products in Canada. This new deal, which covers non-smokable and non-combustible reefer products will expand that distribution to roughly 35 countries around the world whose leaders say things like “legalize it” and “‘Freddy Got Fingered’ is such an underrated movie.”

The two companies will work together to commercialize Tilray’s non-smokable medical marijuana offerings, co-brand certain products, and educate pharmacists and physicians about weed, presumably by baking out a 1998 Honda Civic in a CVS parking lot.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “I have a feeling Tilray’s pitch went a little something like this …”

 

GHOST RIDE THE WHIP

If you live in Scottsdale, AZ and and have yet to be undone by an autonomous vehicle (we didn’t forget, Uber), you are in luck. Kroger has launched fully autonomous grocery delivery vehicles. The grocer will partner with Nuro to unleash two driverless R1’s, an ungodly hybrid that looks like the love child of a Smart Car and Wall-E.

Back in June Kroger hooked up with the robotics company who has been making a name for itself in the autonomous vehicle space. The forward thinking grocer and tech luminary have racked up 1k autonomous deliveries with a fleet of autonomous vehicles overseen by real humans, and exactly zero vehicular manslaughter charges.

With delivery on lock, the self-proclaimed “world’s largest supermarket retailer,” is turning its sights to a partnership with consumer analytics company, Inmar. The plan is to leverage Kroger’s digital coupon program (run by YouTech) and let Inmar run it more efficiently.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Here we are in 2018 and Kroger is out here living in 2088.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

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  • “Trade war? What trade war? I don’t see any trade war.” – Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. Mnuchin blamed recent market volatility on the Volcker Rule and High Speed Trading.

 

  • The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (yes, the agency led by this guy) released the monthly new residental construction report, which pointed at higher than expected housing starts (1.256M vs. 1.221M). Which, of course means higher than expected foreclosures when sh*t inevitably hits the fan.

 

  • If you thought the US government nearing a shutdown was pure, unadulterated incompetency at its finest, just wait until you get a load of this. Italy, which is part of the EU, looks like it will avoid Union-sanctioned budget penalties pending approval by its Senate. This all began when Italy presented its budget to the EU with a 2.4% deficit … a blatant no-no under Euro guidelines. Ever defiant, the Italian government proceeded with the budget, because they DGAF. Now, it looks like the country and their economic overlord will reach a deal.

 

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