Dynamo Dispatch (03/04/19)

Issue 56 | Zūm, FreightWaves, DrayAlliance

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’m in Long Beach/Los Angeles this week for TPM 2019. If anyone wants to grab a coffee or partake in a casual 20 minute chat about industry, venture, or startups, reach out! I’m at santosh at dynamo dot vc.

We Are Dynamo,
Santosh 💥

Supply Chain 📦

🎧 a16z: Who’s Down with CPG, DTC? (and Micro-Brands Too?). A highly engaging conversation on the state of innovation in CPG, the evolution of grocery, and how DTC isn’t necessarily the path to success. This has eCommerce enablement, and supply chain implications/opportunities interwoven, throughout. Related: Ahold Delhaize’s innovation efforts led by our friend Dan Covert.

Dynamic Air Cargo Pricing Gaining Traction. Airlines are joining the digitization push as “the expectation from shippers is now instant access to capacity and dynamic pricing that reflects supply and demand on any given day.”

FedEx Launches Delivery Robot. The sidewalk delivery robot doesn’t seem dissimilar to those efforts from Starship (and dare I say, Amazon Scout). The device is a collaboration with DEKA Development & Research. FedEx is working with customers such as AutoZone on piloting hyper-local delivery solutions this summer. The jury’s still out on delivery robots given the challenges associated with “the final 50 feet” (read, recipient laziness and challenges of real estate)... let’s see if the robot makes it into the FedEx delivery rotation.

Robot Shipments at Record High Despite Automotive Pullback. The Robot Industries Association noted a strong 2018 with 35,880 units shipped, +7% y/y. In United States, specifically, robot shipments increased 15% to a record 28,478.

🌟 Amazon Launches Day for Prime Members. Prime members can now opt to receive all their orders on one day at a specific time. While it can be helpful to prevent theft and reduce number of boxes, in my opinion, this is ultimately a last mile delivery optimization. Amazon and it’s delivery service providers stand to gain from a more consolidated, predictable route with a high volume of parcels. Remember, last mile unit economics are driven by volumes but also pick up/drop off density, timeliness, size/weight, perishability/fragility, and mode of delivery. It wouldn’t surprise me to see incentives to get entire neighborhoods to get delivery on one or two days. Oh by the way, Amazon plans to launch new grocery chain.

Mobility 🚗

Private Car Ownership Becoming Obsolete?. A Bloomberg analysis that shows a decline in car ownership as other mobility services ramp. There should be more dialogue around micromobility given the graph showing the concentration of populations in urban centers. No doubt this will happen but the multi-billion dollar question is when?

📊 Lyft S-1 is Published Ahead of IPO. Interesting observations: 1) US ride sharing market share of 39%; 2) 18.6M active riders (riders who take at least one ride on our multimodal platform through the Lyft app during a quarter) and 1.1M drivers who have earned $10B since inception ; 3) revenue per active rider is showing steady growth -- implies stickiness and loyalty; 4) Revenue as % of Bookings shows growth on the back of improved utilization. What will micromobility do? ; 5) Contribution margins around 45% -- I suspect highly regulated markets (like NYC) are being subsidized by less regulated markets. I suspect micromobility efforts will help better utilize drivers -- less shorter distance/low margin rides.

DoE Earmarks $50M Grant for Research of Alternative Fuel in Trucks. Funds will will be allocated among five topic areas. The most noteworthy being up to $18M for technical challenges with battery-electric vehicles and up to $16.5M for making hydrogen-fuel vehicles less expensive.

Enabling Adaptive Cruise Control in Trains. Researchers are exploring a new cruise-control algorithm that could help trains use the track more efficiently without crashing. It involves train to train connectivity as well as car to car connectivity.

📊 Cushman & Wakefield on the Impact of Mobility on Real Estate. I especially appreciate the willingness to think about the short, medium, and long-term impacts (see pages 5, 11, 30).

Strategic Developments, Fundraises, M&A 💸

FreightWaves Raises $20M Series B. The round was led by existing investor, 8VC with participation from new investors including Hearst Ventures and Prologis Ventures. Several other existing investors also participated. The round “boosted the market value of the privately held company to nearly $100M.”

DrayAlliances Raises $3.5M Seed. The round in the drayage brokerage company was led by Craft Ventures.

Roadie Raises $37M Series C. Home Depot participated in the round for the crowd-sourced delivery startup.

Tulip Raises $18M+ Series B. Tulip offers a manufacturing execution system for a more data-driven operation.

BMW Leads $40M Round in Zūm. The startup provides safe ride sharing solutions for kids… think about how often our parents shuttled us to soccer practice or to a friends house.

Remix Raises $15M Series B. Remix helps cities plan better transit networks, design smarter streets, and manage new mobility options.

VNDLY Closes $11M Series A Led By Battery Ventures and Hyde Park Ventures. VNDLY streamlines contingent workforce recruiting, hiring, and management in a world where the “gig workforce” is growing in importance.

GoExpedi Raises $8M Series A. The company has built software for MRO procurement in industrial and energy verticals. The round was led by Crosslink Capital.

Lineage Logistics Buyers PFS to Become #1 Cold Storage Company. The combined company will feature over 1.3B ft3 of temperature-controlled capacity across over 200 facilities, with a global footprint that spans North America, Europe and Asia.

GE Transportation/Wabtec Merger Closes. The merger creates an industry leader in railroad technology with exposure to mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries.

Wisetech Acquiring Containerchain for ~$65M. Wisetech continues a spree of acquisitions by adding real-time tracking, automation, connectivity, operational planning and container visibility to it’s array of offerings.

Company Building 🛠️

The Three-Year Future Org Chart. I found myself inadvertently doing this with a couple portfolio companies in January and February. It builds a sight-line in regards to organizational development and draws connections to key business milestones.

Preparing for a Board Meeting. Marc Suster is giving us all a master class in board management and participation. This is a must read for founders.

Doubling Model for Fundraising. A lot of founders hear us talking about this. It’s a baseline assumption that helps set expectations while also helping to drive operations to key financing milestones.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Front-End Engineer at LEAF Logistics in New York, NY.
Chief of Staff at PlusOne Robotics in San Antonio, TX.
Senior UI/UX Designer at Stord in Atlanta, GA.

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.