Index Update: Latest News on Top 30 Companies

SpaceX’s Fourth Starship Launch is a Success

(June 6th, 2024)

SpaceX launched their Starship rocket out of southern Texas on Thursday, marking the first successful launch and reentry for the reusable rocket. The previous three flight tests had ended in explosions, but this time the booster landed safely in the Gulf of Mexico while the Starship continued into space and touched down in the Indian Ocean an hour later. SpaceX is already selling tourist trips around the moon, and NASA has ordered two Starship rockets for trips planned later this decade. 

FDA Lifts JUUL Ban

(June 6th, 2024)

JUUL Labs, a leader in the e-cigarette market, has had the 2022 ban of its products lifted by the FDA after appeal. JUUL’s e-cigarettes will remain on the market, but the FDA still needs to make a final decision on whether they can stay. The company was close to bankruptcy after the ban but was able to keep selling its products as the appeal process put it on hold. JUUL is currently the number two e-cigarette producer in the United States, and they have submitted their new generation of products, which are not available to the public, to the FDA to be reviewed. The company is confident that their devices are beneficial to public health as a better alternative to cigarettes. 

Databricks Purchases Data-Management Startup Tabular

(June 4th, 2024)

Databricks, the creator of an AI-powered data intelligence platform, will acquire Tabular, a startup that assists companies with open-source formatting of data. Databricks aims to make it easier for their customers to use their own data with AI, and purchasing Tabular will help them gather more business data across multiple formats without increasing costs. The deal is expected to close before July 31st at a price between $1-2 billion, with most of Tabular’s team joining Databricks.

Anduril Chosen as 1 of 4 Companies to Compete for Enterprise Test Vehicle Project

(June 3rd, 2024)

Anduril was selected by the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit alongside Leidos Dynetics, Integrated Solutions for Systems, and Zone 5 Technologies, to compete in the development of an unmanned aerial vehicle that can be produced at scale. The goal is to create a simple prototype using widely available parts to allow for rapid manufacture and avoid supply chain problems. The companies were selected from over 100 proposals for the Enterprise Test Vehicle program, and they will be selected down to one or more of the four, with flight tests taking place during summer or fall.  

Maplebear Set to Repurchase $500 Million in Stocks

(June 6th, 2024)

Instacart parent company Maplebear announced authorization of a $500 million stock buyback plan, stating in a filing that it had completed its previous $1 billion buyback of about 34 million shares. The announcement led to a jump in stock price of over eight percent, with the stock up 42% this year after a small slump following Maplebear’s IPO in September 2023.

Ro Introduces New GLP-1 Supply Tracker Amid Weight-Loss Drug Shortages

(May 29th, 2024)

Roman Health Ventures, a healthcare company designed to help customers address health issues from the comfort of their home, has created an online tracker where users can report areas with GLP-1 shortages or where the drugs are available. It tracks brands Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Zepbound, Saxenda, Victoza, and Trulicity, with thousands of shortage reports from across the United States already rolling in across the various brands and dosages.

Navan Names Former NYSE Executive Amy Butte as CFO

(June 3rd, 2024)

Navan, an online business travel and expense management company, has announced the appointment of Amy Butte, who was the CFO of the NYSE from 2004-2006. Butte will take the role of CFO in June after being appointed as audit committee chair back in April. This comes as Navan prepares its finances for an IPO, which CEO Ariel Cohen has stated is “not far”, with the company expecting to reach profitability sometime in 2024. 

TalkDesk Launches Generative AI Tools to Improve Interactive Voice Response

(June 5th, 2024)

TalkDesk, a global leader in AI-powered customer service, presented Navigator and Mood Insights at Customer Contact Week 2024. These AI tools aim to address challenges of traditional interactive voice responses, with Navigator providing a continuous conversation experience and personalized responses for customers without complex response menus, and Mood Insights analyzing customer sentiment from call data automatically with specific emotions rather than asking survey questions or simply evaluating if the customer had positive, neutral, or negative sentiment.