There’s Big Money In Big Tech

Grind for November 4th, 2018
“Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.”
– Samuel Johnson


The Headline

Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) valued at $15 billion

The Grind

As reported this week in The Wall Street Journal, Epic Games, Inc. is valued at nearly $15 billion as part of a new investment round.

The company announced Friday it had received an investment of $1.25 billion, with a portion of that money coming from new investors Kleiner Perkins, aXiomatic, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Current investors include Walt Disney and Tencent.

Epic Games has been raking in money through its classic shooter game “Fortnite,” which has attracted more than 120 million players since its release in 2017. Reported revenue for May 2018 was $318 million.

The Details

According to surveys, the average player spends between 6 and 10 hours playing Fortnite each week. More than 30% of players who are students have skipped class to play it, and just over 20% of players who are employed have skipped work to play it.

Fortnite’s “Battle Royale” mode is free to play, but gamers can choose to spend real money on virtual costumes and dance moves.

According to estimates from SuperData, Epic has made more than $1 billion on in-game purchases alone.

Working Together

The Headline

Two more companies sign deals to launch satellites using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket

The Grind

ViaSat and Ovzon have signed deals with Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to launch their satellites on the Falcon Heavy rocket.

ViaSat plans to use its satellite to provide high-speed Internet and Ovzon wants to deliver mobile broadband. Both launches are expected to take place between 2020 and 2022.

The Details

Other companies planning to utilize the Falcon Heavy include ArabSat and Inmarsat. Earlier this year, SpaceX sold one of its Falcon Heavy rockets to the US Air Force for $130 million.

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket on the planet, but SpaceX is currently working on an even bigger one – called “BFR”- that could take humans further into the solar system.

SpaceX could soon see some competition from United Launch Alliance, which has teamed up with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to build a new rocket called the Vulcan Centaur.

Depending on its price, the Vulcan Centaur could steal business from the Falcon 9, which currently makes about two trips per month to the International Space Station.

ULA and Blue Origin both won military contracts from the Air Force earlier this year, but SpaceX did not.

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