Dynamo Dispatch (02/11/19)

Issue 53 | Ike, Deepomatic, Aurora

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

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

Weekly Commentary 💭

I encourage you all to check out Episode 14 of The Future of Supply Chain Podcast. I know there are a lot of critics of autonomous technologies and their safety and reliability. This is an approachable conversation with Stefan Seltz-Axmacher of Starsky Robotics on the subject.

We Are Dynamo,

Santosh 💥

Supply Chain 📦

🌟 Convoy Has Fully Automated Load Matching. 100% of loads automatically in major markets are automatically matched effectively eliminating the need for any person to call or communicate between the shipper and carrier.

Amazon Lists Incumbent Supply Chain Providers as Competitors. In their annual filing, Form 10k, Amazon notes that the likes of FedEx, UPS, and USPS are competition. It could signal a more serious effort into scaling their internal supply chain efforts that range from cargo planes and freight forwarding to last mile efforts via sprinter vans as well as delivery robots.

🌟 Maersk Piloting Virtual Assistant. "Captain Peter" will be a component of the Remote Container Management platform and help with real time updates on reefer containers’ location, temperature, humidity, power, and more. It's expected to get more sophisticated as paper process becomes digital.

Walmart Insourcing Parts of Distribution Operations. The move comes as Walmart seeks to manage more of it's warehousing functions. Note the company is ramping more technology and automation efforts that are easier to roll out in first-party environments.

Amazon’s Growing Physical Presence. The bulk of square footage growth is attributable to the company’s logistics ambitions. Whole Foods and AWS account for under 30M sq ft of the 288M sq ft. Since 2004, it’s square footage has grown 48x.

FreightWaves On Roadshow to Launch TransRisk Futures. FreightWaves is currently on a roadshow building support for it's freight futures product that it will launch in partnership with Nodal Exchange and DAT. The futures product is based on dry van rates for seven major freight lanes in the US.

Turvo Hires Uber Freight Co-founders. Charlie Bergevin, Brian Cristol, and engineer, Bin Chang will be joining Turvo to accelerate the company's traction after a recent funding led by Mubadala Ventures.

Ocado's Automated Warehouse Damaged from Fire. Ocado has gained notoriety for their investments in robotics and heavily automated grocery fulfillment. Last week, the facility suffered heavy damage from a fire that required 200 firefighters.

Mobility 🚗

Half of England’s Bus Routes at Risk. A funding shortfall of £652M for the free national bus pass scheme is putting pressure on local governments to pick/choose which routes and areas they can service. While ridership is down 2% Y/Y, it’s worth noting that ~3,000 routes have been withdrawn, reduced, or altered — supply on viable routes might be the issue, not a lack of demand.

New Cars Are Hacker Magnets. "The typical automotive organization only has nine employees devoted full-time to cybersecurity and 30% don’t have an established product cybersecurity program team" A car's assembly originates from various suppliers and as a result there's a lack of cybersecurity standards.

Sysco Weighing Smaller Delivery Vehicles. The food distributor is looking at smaller delivery vehicles to offset costs associated with driver recruitment, retention and also to streamline warehousing functions.

The Rise and Fall of Ofo. The Information profiles the story of Ofo, the Chinese bike rental startup. It turns out Ofo operated like a disposable bike company with a constant order of assets, poor management of existing assets, and no understanding of unit economics.

Cheap Chinese Electric Vehicles Coming to US. Kaiyun Motors will release their mini electric pick up, Pickman for just under $9,000. These small, simple vehicles are expected to be "enough" for a consumer's daily needs. It has a range of 75 mi on a single charge (takes 10 hours to charge) with a top speed of 28 mph with a payload capacity of ~900 lbs.

🌟 eScooter Injuries Totaling 1,500 Going Untracked. Injuries highlight the on-going concern around rider safety that includes better designed scooter/bike lanes and helmet usage among other solutions.

Strategic Developments, Fundraises, M&A 💸

FourKites Raises $50M Series C. The raise will fuel expansion beyond trucking and the domestic shipping market. The round was insider-led.

Ike Raises $52M for Self-Driving Trucks. Ike is led by veterans of Apple, Google, and Uber's respective autonomous groups. The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures. The company believes their systems engineering approach will result in an improved product.

Deepomatic Raises $6.2M for Industrial Computer Vision. The company allows users to build their own applications that leverage CV in industrial settings.

Rivigo Raises $36M. The Indian logistics company focuses on relay routes for LTL, FTL, and reefer. Insiders Warburg and SAIF Partners returned to lead the round.

Postmates Files for IPO. The company has raised $700M in venture capital with the most recent round totaling $100M at a $1.85B valuation.

Amazon Invests in Aurora's $530M Financing. We previously noted that Sequoia was leading the round valued at ~$2B. The investment dovetails with Amazon's strategy around logistics and implementing autonomous solutions across all aspects of their supply chain.

Lime $310M Series D Values Company at $2.4B. The round was led by a16z, Bain Capital Ventures, Fidelity, GV, and IVP. Funding will be used for new market expansion, product investments, and to pilot “new opportunities.”

The Story Behind Amazon Scout. The Scout R&D effort is actually driven by Dispatch.AI, a startup Amazon purchased in late 2017 that was funded by a16z. Related: Amazon Patent for Pickup on Public Buses.

VW Fleet Services Buys Majority Stake in Fleet Logistics. The fleet management business of both companies will be merged into a JV and scaled to various modes and markets.

Airbnb Moving into Transportation. Former Virgin America CEO Fred Reid is to be its first-ever Global Head of Transportation as Airbnb eyes a new transportation venture

Company Building 🛠️

Raising SAFEs and Convertibles Between Rounds. Fred Wilson speaks up against the trend of founders raising money between priced rounds on convertible instruments. It can have unintended consequences when a founder goes to raise their next round.

📊 What's Changed in Venture Capital. Mark Suster of Upfront shares his annual presentation on the state of venture capital.

What Shutting Your Startup Down Feels Like. A look into startup failure from YC and Avni Patel Thompson, founder of Poppy.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

SDR at SKUPOS in Denver, CO.

Full-Stack Developer at Vector AI in London, UK.

TruckTech (Ops) at Starsky Robotics in San Francisco, CA.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

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

🗞️ If you were forwarded this and found it interesting or helpful, please sign up.

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