Below are samples of the detailed-snapshot stories to enjoy in Issue No.3 of our must-read newsletter
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GAMING
Product: Sky Mavis, NFT-funded online game developer
Need to know because the Vietnam-based creator of Axie Infinity, the hugely popular role-playing fantasy-battle game, has raised US$152m in a Series B round of funding, hiking its valuation to US$3bn-plus. Its play-to-earn monetization format sees players use the Ether cryptocurrency (digital currency) to buy, collect and own Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) that represent vicious-looking virtual pets called Axies. The Axies are warriors you collect to form an army that enter battles with other gamers. Your NFTs, stored in a digital wallet, verify your unique ownership of the Axies you bought. The Axies can be traded like financial-market shares with other gamers or gaming investors in a dedicated marketplace. Sky Mavis collects a commission when the NFTs are traded. By September 2021, Sky Mavis had generated a reported US$2bn in revenue.
Creative function: play-to-earn gaming; video games; online games; gaming monetization
Creative target: game developers; gamers; game publishers
Company: Sky Mavis PTE. Ltd, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Key executive(s): CEO Trung Thanh Nguyen; COO Aleksander Leonard Larsen
Investors/Owners: include Andreessen Horowitz; Accel; Paradigm; Libertus Capital; Mark Cuban
Distribution platform: desktop PC and Mac; Android mobile app
Launched: 2018
URL: https://skymavis.com/


LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Product: SpaceX Starship, reusable commercial space vehicle
Need to know because it looks set to make space tourism a reality. After gaining US$850m in an equity round of funding in February 2021 (shooting its value up to a reported US$74bn), it is on course to launch its first test mission in 2022. It will be the first time the starship will add a dedicated heavy booster that will propel it directly into space. Eventually, such reuseable space rockets will take passengers to the moon or Mars and back, just like conventional airplanes do for international travel on Earth. Billionaires Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Yusaku Maezawa plus four ordinary civilians have travelled to the outer edge of space or the International Space Station successfully this year.
Creative function: space tourism; out-of-home leisure; out-of-home entertainment
Creative target: billionaires
Company: Space Exploration Technologies Corp, based in Hawthorne, California, US
Key executive(s): CEO/Founder Elon Musk; President/COO Gwynne Shotwell
Investors/Owners: Space Exploration Technologies Corp; private shareholders
Distribution platform: spacecraft
Launched: 2002
URL: https://www.spacex.com/; https://www.spacex.com/vehicles/starship/

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