Dynamo Dispatch (01/28/19)

Issue 51 | NEXT, Wheels, Walmart, Re-skilling the Workforce

Dynamo Dispatch. Weekly update from Dynamo covering the latest and greatest in supply chain, mobility, and building venture-scale businesses.

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Weekly Commentary πŸ’­

I'm on the road this week, give me a shout if you're in Indianapolis, IN or San Francisco, CA.

I'll be at the Micromobility Conference on 1/31 in San Fran. I would love to riff with some smart folks on urban mobility, first/last mile, et al. I'm noodling/trying to get smart on the scooter supply chain, using these form factors for first/last mile logistics, and the necessary B2B business needed for β€œthe great unbundling.”

We Are Dynamo,

Santosh πŸ’₯

Supply Chain πŸ“¦

πŸ“Š WEF: Re-skilling Displaced Workers to Cost $34B. We would need to spend almost $25k per worker on 1.4M people to ensure they have viable roles and are paid appropriately. Turns out a lot of purchasing roles are likely to be reduce but among the many new opportunities are vehicular and mobility-related occupations. Also, Brookings released a study on Where Automation Will Displace the Most Workers in the US.

Amazon Undercutting UPS and FedEx on Fees. Amazon is simplifying and providing a more transparent pricing structure for merchants as it goes head-to-head on parcel delivery. Their new seven-day delivery service offers to pick up parcels and bring to residences, without added fuel or weekend surcharges. Amazon currently delivers 25% of parcels ordered on it's website.

🌟 Port Congestion Delaying Deliveries. Shortage of container chassis and rail cars are causing delays at LA/Long Beach and New York. The Chinese New Year should provide some relief to ports, dray providers, and liners.

Walmart Needs 900 More Truckers. Walmart is raising salaries for truck drivers as it seeks 900 new drivers with a majority required in Texas**.** The pay increase is supposed to total $14M more in trucking costs this year as it seeks to add to it's 8,000 truck driver total.

Reducing Damages in Shipping. It turns out that printing a TV on a box can help reduce damages. VanMoof, a Dutch bike company has reduced damages during the shipping process by 80% by simply printing a silhouette of a TV on it's packaging.

Amazon Piloting Sidewalk Robot Delivery. Amazon joins Starship, Kiwi, and others to pilot sidewalk delivery robots the size of a cooler. The vehicles will be used during the week just north of Seattle during day light hours. The robots will require the recipient is home given it lacks an auto drop-off feature. Related: Starship Expands to College Campuses.

UPS Expands Latch Delivery Service. The new program allows UPS to deliver packages when recipients are not home through an internet connected lock and camera from Latch. Package delivery and theft prevention is a priority for retailers and their logistics partners.

Mobility πŸš—

🌟 Understanding the Impact of Micromobility. "If you were to take all the trips less than 12 miles they equal, in quantity, in value, in terms of dollars spent, all the miles above 12 miles. That is called the point of parity: at what distance does the value of transportation balance."

🌟 Uber Announces New Rewards Program. It turns out the new program might increase congestion on city streets because it incentivizes solo rides vs UberPool. Also, given most journeys are <12 miles, it would make sense to offer rewards for using JUMP bikes.

Ryder Announces Expansion of Truck COOP in Florida. The service allows asset owners to offer their underutilized assets on a marketplace similar to Airbnb β€” pricing negotiated by each party, Ryder ensures assets comply with regulations and offer a $1M insurance policy. Interesting to note that underpinning this service offering is Ryder's belief that 2M+ of 8M commercial vehicles sit idle for at least 5 days a month.

Gatwick Pilots Valet Parking Robots. Beginning in August, travelers will leave their car in a dedicated drop-off zone to be parking by a robot. The battery-powered robot rolls up, slides a forklift-style ramp under the chassis, and uses GPS to park it without needing the keys.

Uber and Lyft Not Promoting Public Transit. A study from the University of Kentucky show that once a ride sharing company enters a market, rail ridership drops by 1.3% per year, while bus ridership falls by 1.7%. The effect increases with time as usage increases β€” after 8 years this would be associated with a 12.7 percent decrease in bus ridership.

Why Ford Shutdown Chariot. I wonder if the service would have still been shuttered if it was a keeping it's fleet full vs the 9 riders/vehicle it averaged in NYC. Ford claims that it closed the service due to a lack of regulatory framework for app-based ride hailing services.

Strategic Developments, Fundraises, M&A πŸ’Έ

NEXT Trucking Raises Series C. Brookfield led the $97M round in the digital freight marketplace startup.

Wheels Raises $37M Series A. Wheels is led by the Viner brothers who founded Wag. The bikes are modular with swappable batteries and parts that should help increase product life by 4x.

Allvision Raises $3.2M Seed. Allvision provides geospatial intelligence to the infrastructure, insurance, advertising, and security industries.

Roadside Assistance Company, Urgently Raises $21M. The round was led by BMW, Jaguar LandRover, and Porsche.

Southeast Asia Ridesharing Firm, Go-Jek Raises $2B Round. The first close of the $2B round includes existing investors Google, Tencent, and JD.com at a valuation of $9.5B.

FoodMaven Raises $10M Round. FoodMaven uses a marketplace to sell food to restaurants, hotels, and universities while donating excess to hunger-relief organizations. Tao Capital and members of the Walton Family participated in the round.

ThingTech Raises $4M Series A. ThingTech helps companies with a mobile workforce, like construction and utility firms, track, manage, and maintain their assets using IIoT. BIP Capital led the round.

Bridgestone Acquires TomTom's Telematics Unit. The price tag was about $1B for the unit and creates an industry leader in the space. TomTom will focus resources on mapping data and technology.

Company Building πŸ› οΈ

Build Boring Software. When trying to solve a problem, it can be tempting to build a sophisticated, elegant, and complex solution. But that unnecessary complexity can lead to just as complicated issues.

How Much Should You Burn?. While there's no sure way to answer this question, there are frameworks that can help think through it. It's all goal driven and should be thoughtful β€” "as you gather more truths about your business, you can start increasing your burn in order to move faster."

πŸŽ™ Gusto's Scalable Hiring Practices. I spent a good chunk of this week working with one of our portfolio company's on hiring. This seemed to vibe with me β€” candidate and company must be aligned across values, motivation and skill-set.

Who's Hiring? πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

Software Engineering Intern (Summer) at PlusOne Robotics in San Antonio, TX.

Account Executive at WorkHound in Chattanooga, TN.

NLP Engineer at VectorAI in London, UK.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

❀️ We would love your support. Please forward to friends or share on Twitter or LinkedIn.

πŸ—žοΈ If you were forwarded this and found it interesting or helpful, please sign up.

πŸŽ™ Check out Dynamo's podcast series, The Future of Supply Chain.