Dynamo Dispatch (09/30/19)

Issue 78 | Embark, INLT, Shopmonkey

Dynamo Dispatch. Weekly update from Dynamo Ventures 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 💭

Founders Camp 2019 begins this evening with 20 startups joining us from all over the world. Stay connected to this week’s happenings by following us on LinkedIn or Twitter. 

A big thank you to our headline sponsors, Chick-fil-A, Covenant Transportation, Schneider National, and FreightWaves, as well as local sponsors, EPB, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, and Market Street Partners.

We Are Dynamo,
Santosh 💥

PS- Shout out to Matt who was our guest curator this week 😊

Note: please add “dynamo@substack.com” to your email client so you don’t miss future issues due to aggressive spam filters.

Supply Chain 📦

Flexport Launches 2.0. Three themes underpin the new product: customers want to streamline their workflows, seamlessly connect specific shipments to business priorities, and improve the channel of communication between shippers and their suppliers. Among all this, the new platform automatically passes information entered by suppliers along to the customer and the customer’s carriers. On the ocean, Container Ships Trade-off Between Reach and Fuel Costs. In the air, Delta Takes Aim at American in Latin America with LATAM Deal.

📊Supply Chain Of The Future Requires Balance Of Technology And Humans. According to a report from Coyote Logistics, shippers and carriers believe that a blend of 60% technology and 40% human interaction is necessary to future-proof their business. Speaking of technology, in Canada, Geotab Launches Smart-City Accelerator with a focal area on freight technologies. 

Lufthansa Piloting Modular System for Bellies. The modular loading system comprises pre-assembled floor modules that can be reconfigured for different types of cargo, which allows reconfiguring the bellyhold of an A320 or A321, within hours, from bulk to containerized cargo, or vice versa. Also, The Shift of US Air Imports from China to Vietnam has Caused a Logistical Headache.

🌟Maersk Expands to Warehousing. In continued pursuit of end-to-end container logistics services, Maersk plans to integrate JDA’s software to simplify its customers’ increasingly complex supply chains. The new functionality will help Maersk’s customers balance the imperative of on-time delivery with the need for cost-effective distribution.  In the world of apparel, Rent the Runway is Having Logistics Nightmares.

📊How Warehouses Will Meet The Rising Demand of Cold Storage. According to CBRE, cold storage development and construction will see three shifts: 1) more speculative development; 2) more development in small markets; 3) greater automation. Prologis shares, A New Model for Defining Logistics Real Estate.

Macy's Pilots Free Same Day Delivery. Macy’s will make same-day delivery free for online purchases of $75 or more in 30 test markets at the beginning of the month.For the trial  Macy's will drop the $8 fee it usually charges for same-day delivery. The move seems to be in retaliation to Amazon's shift towards one-day delivery for its Prime members. In food delivery, Postmates Partners with Teleoperator, Phantom Auto.

Hackers are Targeting the Innocent Logistics Sector. As the logistics sector continues to digitalize, cybersecurity lags behind. A new trojan malware campaign targeted shipping activity in Kuwait last week. Related, DoorDash Data Breach Affects 4.9M Customers.

Mobility 🚗

🌟Hyundai and Aptiv Set Up $4B AV Joint Venture. The partnership will focus on the development of scalable level 4 autonomous driving products. Automakers and startups alike are consolidating their AV development efforts, as global auto sales and investments in autonomous solutions both slow. To make things worse, U.S.-China Trade Tensions Slow Down AV Rollout

Boeing’s Software Used to Have Safeguards to Prevent 737 MAX Issue. After implicating the new MCAS system as the cause of the two deadly 737 Max crashes, engineers have redesigned the fix to better resemble the original MCAS system that pilots are familiar with. Related, How To Save 150,000 Stranded Thomas Cook Customers

📊The Best & Worst Places in America to Be Car-free. Survey results show that coastal cities like San Fran, Boston, New York, Seattle, and Portland reign supreme for those who opt to go car-free. In looking at mid-sized cities, college towns reign supreme. Related, a great animation on optimizing throughput in cities.

Tesla Launches Software V10.0. Tesla is beginning the over-the-air update of its V10 software. Packaged into the update are Smart Summon, Tesla Theater, Spotify integration, and even a new karaoke mode. Related, Electric Cars Need to Make Noise for Safety, but What Kind?

🌟Uber continues to position itself as the OS for Everyday Life. Uber is eagerly trying to cross-promote its different features, optimize all its options and break into new businesses while reassuring people it cares about safety, drivers, the environment and the law. Thrown into the mix, Uber Launches its own Incubator to develop products and services on top of Uber’s platform.

Continental to Cut Up to 20,000 Jobs, Shut Factories in Sweeping Overhaul. Amid the shift to EVs, the world’s second largest tier 1 supplier seeks to reduce gross costs. "We've been on restricted hiring for quite some time, which has helped us in terms of any further headcount impact," says its PR rep. Related, Jaguar Land Rover to Close Plants for a Week as a Brexit Safeguard.

📊Can Electric Scooters Clean Up Their Act? On the heels of a report which concluded that the “materials and manufacturing burdens of e-scooters and the impacts associated with transporting the scooters to overnight charging stations make up 93 percent of the vehicles’ environmental impact,” D.C. and Maryland legislators are working to incentivize charging from clean energy sources. Related, The Scooter Total in SF Could Soon Double and Bolt Launches Retail “BoltOne” and “BoltChariot” Scooters.

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

Embark $70M Led by Tiger Global Management. The funds will be used to add staff and trucks to Embark’s fleet. Like its competitors, Embark’s goal is to reach Level 4 autonomous driving capability on highways.

Deliverr Raises $23M Series B. Funds will be used to ramp hiring as Deliverr scales its fulfillment service for eCommerce. GLP led the round with participation from A investor, 8VC.

Fetch $10.5M Led by Signal Peak Ventures. Austin-based warehouse autonomous mobile robots (AMR) startup Fetch raises $10.5M from Signal Peak Ventures, Silverton Partners, and Capital Factory. 

Shopmonkey Raises $10M from Index. Funds will be used to accelerate product development and ramp hiring for the auto repair shop software company.

Landline Raises Seed from Upfront Ventures. Landline helps connect rural communities to airports with the first service launched in Minnesota. Mucker Capital and Matchstick Ventures also participated in the round.

Amazon Buys INLT. The 12-person  team at INLT provides a software solution that helps merchants manage the costs and clearance customs of cross-border shipments. Amazon is looking to add tools to facilitate cross-border sales processes, which sellers were stuck in figuring out on their own.

Sennder Buys Spanish Rival. Dynamo portfolio company Sennder acquired Innroute and grows its connected vehicle base from 7,500 to 17,500. Additionally, it’s adding over 3,000 carriers to the digital freight-forwarding platform.

BlaBlaCar to Buy Bus Ticketing Platform Busfor. Long-distance ridesharing marketplace BlaBlaCar has announced plans to acquire Busfor, the leading bus ticketing platform in Russia. Deal terms have not been disclosed but this marks the largest acquisition in the unicorn’s history.

Nippon acquires 22% stake in India's FSC. Future Supply Chain Solutions (FSC) will build off of Nippon Express’s Japanese and MNC clients to generate more opportunities in India, explicitly seeking 3PL and express logistics operations.

Company Building 🛠️

State of Remote Work 2019. A data-filled report on remote work including topics such as happiness, motivation, meeting culture, and more. I especially found this interesting, “On-site workers are also working longer weeks because it's required, and more remote workers are doing so because they enjoy what they do.”

Taxonomy of Moats. Jerry Neumann shares a compilation of the most common moats in business. Especially helpful at the seed stage when understanding product/market fit, market positioning, and business model.

The Cost of Preemptive Deals. “On average, founders taking preemptive offers are taking ~1.4% more dilution for less money.”

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Full Stack Engineer at Gatik AI in Toronto, Ontario.
Supplier Relations Manager at Stord in Atlanta, GA.
Backend Engineer at Mobikit in Columbus, OH.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

❤️ We would love your support. Please forward to friends and share on social media.
🗞️ 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.