Rocket Report: Billionaire backs Scottish spaceport, Relativity bags a bundle

Images of Electron rocket.
Enlarge / Rocket Lab’s Catch of the Day recovery vessel nears the Electron rocket’s first stage.

Welcome to Edition 3.24 of the Rocket Report! It’s December, and we could see a number of big smallsat launches this month, including from Virgin Orbit and Astra. But in the immediate future, our eyes are on South Texas, where a Starship prototype is due to make a high leap early next week.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don’t want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Aevum unveils its Ravn X launch system. Until now, Aevum has largely operated in the background. But now, it’s ready to show off

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AI-Based HR Tech Startup Pulsifi Bags $1.8 Mn In Angel Funding

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AI-driven HR tech startup Pulsifi on Wednesday announced that it has raised $1.8 million in angel funding. Apart from the existing investors, new investors such as Aaron Chen, founder of KVC group of companies, Kairous Capital, and Rajesh Lingappa, co-founder of RedMart joined the round.

The latest investment brings the startup’s total funding to $4 million. Based in Singapore and Malaysia, Pulsifi claims to help organizations and people discover their potential through predictive AI technology. The startup combines organizational psychology and data science into a powerful AI SaaS platform.

After unifying multiple sources of people data such as CVs, psychometric assessments, video

Interviews, Pulsifi’s People Data Platform understands hard skills and soft traits, uses AI models to accurately predict work outcomes, thus helping enterprises significantly improve quality and efficiency in

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Bengaluru’s Fedo Bags $1 Mn In Pre-Series A Round Led By Unicorn India Ventures

The startup will utilize the fresh capital in launching its image-based underwriting platform this year which would enable insurance on boarding in less than 60 seconds

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Bengaluru-based Fedo, an insurtech startup, on Tuesday raised $1 million in a pre-Series A round from Unicorn India Ventures. The round also saw participation from SEA fund along with Ashish Mehrotra.

The startup will utilize the fresh capital in launching its image-based underwriting platform this year which would enable insurance on boarding in less than 60 seconds. It is also working with a global player to dynamically price retail and group premiums and also plans to launch its operations in southeast Asia and Australia this year.

Founded in 2017 by Prasanth Madavana and Arun

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Researchers find contents of mulch bags do not match claims — ScienceDaily

Your bag of mulch may not be what you think it is. In a new study, researchers at Penn State found that some bags labeled as “cypress” contain only 50% cypress, while other bags contained no cypress at all.

“Many mulch products claim to be composed of cypress,” said researcher Judd Michael, Nationwide Insurance Professor of Ag Safety and Health in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “But some of the largest mulch manufacturers have been accused of intentionally misleading consumers about the species mix, and it is difficult if not impossible for consumers to know whether the product is, indeed, the species listed on the packaging.”

In response to complaints about misleading packaging and fraudulent behavior by these companies, Michael and his colleagues conducted an investigation and devised a process to determine the wood species included in bags of mulch and their percentages.

According to Michael, cypress wood is generally

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Tiliter bags $7.5M for its ‘plug and play’ cashierless checkout tech

Tiliter, an Australian startup that’s using computer vision to power cashierless checkout tech that replaces the need for barcodes on products, has closed a $7.5 million Series A round of funding led by Investec Emerging Companies.

The 2017-founded company is using AI for retail product recognition — claiming advantages such as removing the need for retail staff to manually identify loose items that don’t have a barcode (e.g. fresh fruit or baked goods), as well as reductions in packaging waste.

It also argues the AI-based product recognition system reduces incorrect product selections (either intentional or accidental).

“Some objects simply don’t have barcodes which causes a slow and poor experience of manual identification,” says co-founder and COO Martin Karafilis. “This is items like bulk items, fresh produce, bakery pieces, mix and match etc. Sometimes barcodes are not visible or can be damaged.

“Most importantly there is an enormous amount of plastic

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