TECH WEEKLY

June 4, 2021

Rivian rolls towards an IPO and might be seeking a $70 billion valuation

Electric truck maker Rivian might be seeking a $70 billion valuation in its potential initial public offering (IPO). The company seems to be moving forward with its efforts to enter the stock market, with Rivian reportedly selecting underwriters for its IPO.

Rivian is working with advisers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley on an initial public offering, Bloomberg news reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Rivian was valued at $27.6 billion in January when the company said it secured another $2.65 billion in funding from investors including asset manager T. Rowe Price Associates, Fidelity Investments, and Amazon.

Rivian had targeted a June launch of its electric pickup truck, the RIT, but the company recently pushed back its planned launch to July. The company didn’t give a reason for the delay, but a supply chain crunch in the automotive sector has temporarily sidelined production for a number of companies, including Ford, Tesla, and General Motors.
Source: Bloomberg

Huawei launches its own operating system on smartphones

The Shenzhen, China-based company announced that about 100 Huawei smartphone models will use its proprietary HarmonyOS system, and that the operating system will also be available on certain tablets and smart screens in the fourth quarter of the year.

The company is still cut off from essential American technologies including Google’s mobile services and some computer chips needed to power its devices after the U.S. put it on a restricted entity list, saying Huawei might aid China’s espionage efforts — an accusation the company vehemently denies.

Huawei’s inclusion on the list restricts American companies from doing business with the Chinese telecommunications equipment and smartphone maker. The blacklist has been a critical blow for Huawei, which has relied on essential technologies from the U.S.

Two operating systems dominate the mobile market today — Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. In the past, companies from Microsoft to Samsung have tried and failed to create viable alternatives.
Source: Reuters

United Airlines is planning to buy 15 supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic

United Airlines said it hopes to fly passengers on a planned new supersonic jetliner by decade’s end, which would resurrect high-speed flights more than two decades after that method of travel was grounded. The carrier announced Thursday it’s buying 15 planes from Boom Supersonic with the option to purchase 35 more at some point.

Overture, the supersonic airliner, is being developed to fly at Mach 1.7, twice the speed of most in-service air transport category aircraft. The jet will also be capable of flying on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel, according to Boom Supersonic.

Boom unveiled its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator in October and expects it to make its first flight later this year. While supersonic flights over land in the U.S. are still prohibited, the new deal between Boom and United Airlines comes following the Federal Aviation Administration’s publishing of its final rules for supersonic flight testing earlier this year.

If Boom’s Overture jets pass inspection, the plan is for them to be rolled out in 2025, fly in 2026, and expected to carry passengers by 2029. At that point, Boom claims its supersonic jets will eventually be able to travel from New York to London — normally a seven-hour flight — in just 3.5 hours, or Los Angeles to Sydney — typically a 15-hour trip — in six hours and 45 minutes. Boom has said that tickets will cost $5,000 per seat, but United says it’s too early to announce pricing.
Source: United