Digits: Supersonic planes, 100+ unicorns, and Isaac Newton’s notes

A roundup of the week’s most interesting numbers, with insights from Nestle, lawyers bullying Amazon, and another cargo ship making waves.

Concorde, the OG supersonic jet (Source: Getty Images / Evening Standard)

Digits: Supersonic planes, 100+ unicorns, and Isaac Newton’s notes
  • United Airlines wants 15 supersonic airliners from Boom Supersonic, with an eye on 35 more. With delivery slotted for 2029, Boom is sourcing sustainable jet fuel to help US airlines achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Nestlé acknowledges that ~70% of its food products aren’t healthy, having <3.5 stars on Australia’s health star rating system. Drinks were worse, with 96% of its beverages failing to meet the 3.5 star threshold.
  • London’s Firstminute Capital is the 1st VC fund backed by 100+ unicorn founders. 2020 was a record year for European startups with $41B in funding. Q1 2021 saw $20B flow in, more than doubling YoY.
  • Amazon changed its terms of service after crafty lawyers filed 75k+ customer arbitration demands, triggering a bill for “tens of millions of dollars in filing fees… payable by Amazon under its own policies.”
  • After burning for ~2 weeks, the cargo ship, “X-Press Pearl,” sank off the coast of Sri Lanka. With 1,486 containers onboard, including 78k kg of plastic pellets and 25 tons of nitric acid, it’s an environmental nightmare.
  • Two pages of Isaac Newton’s handwritten notes are expected to fetch $850k-$1.3m at auction next month. Meanwhile, a small sketch of a bear head by Leonardo da Vinci is expected to bring in ~$11m-$17m the same day.
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