SoftBank Cautions Longer Startup Winter Because Unicorn Founders Are Unwilling To Cut Valuations

Masayoshi Son, founder and chief executive of SoftBank Group, which reported a quarterly loss of over $23 billion, is worried that the funding winter for startups may continue for longer. From a report: The 64-year-old executive, whose Vision Funds have backed over 470 startups globally in the past six years, said on Monday that some unicorn founders are unwilling to accept lower valuations in fresh funding deliberations, an assertion that has led him to believe that the "winter maybe longer" for unlisted companies. Startups across the globe are facing a sharp crunch in funding as investors grow cautious about the market conditions -- despite many of them raising record amounts of funds in recent months. "Unicorn companies' leaders still believe in their valuations and they wouldn't accept that they may have to see their valuations [go] lower than they think," he said, according to company's official translator. "So until the multiple of listed companies is lower than those of unlisted companies, we should wait," said Son, referring to a popular way investors assign value to firms. He said the winter for publicly listed companies is still continuing, but a similar downturn for startups may last "longer."

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As Satellites and Space Junk Proliferate, US to Revise Rules

"No one imagined commercial space tourism taking hold, no one believed crowd-funded satellites and mega constellations at low earth orbit were possible, and no one could have conceived of the sheer popularity of space entrepreneurship," reads a statement Friday from the chair of America's Federal Communications Commission. "But it's all happening...." And Reuters reports on what happens next: With Earth's orbit growing more crowded with satellites, a U.S. government agency on Friday said it would begin revising decades-old rules on getting rid of space junk and on other issues such as satellite refueling and inspecting and repairing in-orbit spacecraft. "We believe the new space age needs new rules," Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said after the 4-0 FCC vote, adding that current rules "were largely built for another era." Rosenworcel said the FCC needs "to make sure our rules are prepared for the proliferation of satellites in orbit and new activities in our higher altitudes." The FCC also plans to look at "new ways to clean up orbital debris. After all, there are thousands of metric tons of junk in space," Rosenworcel added. The FCC will look at "the potential for orbital debris remediation and removal functions that offer the prospect of improvement in the orbital debris environment....." "The FCC remains the only agency to license virtually every commercial space mission that touches the United States," FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said. "With that power comes the responsibility to understand the missions we authorize, and to create an enabling regulatory environment that opens new doors while still protecting against new risks." A statement from the FCC describes their new policy review as a "modernization effort." And it made a point of acknowledging that in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing has "the potential to build entire industries, create new jobs, mitigate climate change, and advance America's economic, scientific, technological, and national security interests."

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