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Watch SpaceX launch a SiriusXM broadcasting satellite live during its 25th flight of 2020

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SpaceX is already having a banner year, with major accomplishments including its first human spaceflight, and it’s aiming to pad its current record-breaking launch year with a 25th flight today. The launch will carry SiriusXM-7, a broadcasting satellite for satellite radio service SiriusXM, delivering it to a geostationary transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex-40 in Florida.

This is actually the second launch that SpaceX has conducted just this week, after flying its 21st commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA on December 6. SpaceX has a nearly two hour window for today’s launch, beginning at 11:21 AM EST (8:21 AM PST), and weather is currently looking good.

The booster used on this launch flew during Demo-1, the first crewed flight for SpaceX ever, which brought astronauts to the ISS in May, as well as during a RADARSAT launch, and four separate Starlink launches during 2020. This will be its seventh flight, tying a record for SpaceX’s flight-proven first-stage boosters. It’ll attempt to land aboard the company’s drone landing ship in the Atlantic Ocean after deploying its second stage and cargo.

The broadcast above should begin around 15 minutes prior to the opening of the launch window, so long as everything is tracking on time.

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International VC firm Presight Capital raises $350M second fund

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Presight Capital has closed its $350 million second fund only a year and a half after it announced an $80 million first fund. In fact, General Partner Christian Angermayer told me that the fund was raised in just a few weeks, and that it shot past the initial goal of $250 million.

Presight is the international venture arm of Angermayer’s family office Apeiron Investment Group, which has more than $2.5 billion in assets under management. When I spoke to him about Presight’s first fund, he emphasized the firm’s ability to help U.S. startups expand into Europe while navigating the regulatory landscape.

Angermayer told me the strategy remains the same for the second, and he pointed to a couple other key elements to the Presight approach. For one thing, there’s the firm’s co-investing approach: “Sometimes we’re co-leading [the round], but there’s always a partner we work with.” And although Presight has a relatively small investment team — besides Angermayer, there’s General Partner Fabian Hansen and Principal Philipp Schreiber — portfolio companies also have access to the larger Apeiron team (20 full-time employees) and network.

Hansen said that Presight remains sector agnostic in its investments, with a particular interest in biotech and deeptech. It’s already had some big successes in these fields, with an early investment in AI-powered drug discovery platform AbCellera leading to an IPO and Compass Pathways (a company that has patented a synthetic version of psilocybin to treat depression) also going public.

Fabian Hansen

Fabian Hansen

In a LinkedIn post published last fall, Angermayer argued that biotech will be the biggest sector over the next 10 to 20 years, and that the key metric in this field is quality-adjusted life years — the idea being that a year of life at perfect health is worth 1 QALY, death is zero, while life without perfect health is somewhere in between (or could even have a value below zero).

“And here’s the real conclusion: The big winners – besides everyone benefitting from these advances – will be the companies who are PRODUCING QALYs: biotech companies,” Angermayer wrote. And he is open about the fact that he has a personal motive in this: “Put simply, I want to live forever! And in perfect health! And it is my sincere belief that we will achieve the means to do this within the next 20-30 years.”

Hansen added that there’s a “whole generation” of executives at biotech firms who are launching new startups as they realize, “I can start my own company, it’s not that expensive to try out new things, I can raise a venture round.”

According to a source with knowledge of the firm, limited partners in Presight Fund Two include AbCellera founder and CEO Carl Hansen, former Goldman Sachs CFO Martin Chavez, Uma Thurman, Founders Forum co-founder Brent Hoberman, Point72 and the family offices of XING founder Lars Inrich, Nicole Junkermann, Louis Bacon, Alan Howard and Mike Novogratz. Plus, Angermayer himself invested $60 million.

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Have a startup in Miami? Apply to pitch at TechCrunch’s Miami virtual meetup

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TechCrunch is coming to Miami — virtually, at least. On March 11, TechCrunch is hosting a small online event with local venture capitalists, founders, and those curious about the growing ecosystem. There will also be a small pitch-off event where Florida-based startups have three minutes to pitch their companies to Florida-based VCs.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, but we’re looking for startups based in the Miami region to pitch at this event. TechCrunch has a long history of hosting small pitch-offs and we’re excited to revive this tradition despite the need to do it virtually.

Not in Miami? No worries. We’re spinning up similar events in other regions too. Spoiler: Detroit/Ann Arbor and Pittsburgh are next.

Qualifications

  • Early stage startup (Series A or earlier)
  • Startups based in the Miami region will be given priority
  • Pitch decks are highly recommended
  • Apply for the pitch-off here

The event is online and free, but space is limited. Register early. We hope you can make it.

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$100 million for mealworms

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numberhttps://twitter.com/cgates123s behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down and focus on a single topic, or theme. This week we’re talking agtech, a surprisingly cool bit of the technology startup world. But Chris and Danny and Natasha and Alex were not alone in their quest to take a look into agtech, we brought alone TechCrunch climate editor Jon Shieber for the ride.

With his help we got through a number of pretty damn interesting things, including:

And that’s that! We’re back on Friday with our long-form, newsy episode. Thanks to everyone checking out our newest show. Oh, and don’t forget about TechCrunch Early Stage and TechCrunch Justice. They are going to rock.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

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