Dynamo Dispatch (10/07/19)

Issue 79 | Everledger, Unagi, DeepScale

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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Weekly Commentary 💭

We finished Founders Camp 2019 with high praise from corporates and founders alike. One founder mentioned that that we “ accelerated his sales pipeline by eight months” while another told us she thinks we helped her “get three new pilots in a matter of two days.” Corporates remarked as to the quality of founders and products as they plan their follow up sessions that are expected to take place for the next several weeks into the holiday season.

One group that doesn’t get enough praise are our amazing workshops speakers who flew in from across the country (literally as close to home as Chattanooga and as far as San Francisco). THANK YOU!

Lastly, 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. 

Have a great week!

We Are Dynamo,
Santosh 💥

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

Supply Chain 📦

DP DHL Unveils €2B In Digitization Investments. As part of a six-year plan, DHL will deploy €2B into warehouse automation tools, modernizing IT systems, routing optimization, IoT, employee reskilling, and more. Related, XPO Refocuses M&A Strategy.

🌟UPS Secures Milestone FAA Approval for Drone Deliveries. UPS receives FAA part 135 certification, allowing the company to deliver goods anywhere in the country, beyond line of sight, and at night. Using Matternet’s drones and operating as a “drone airline”, UPS is now permitted to operate an unlimited amount of drones with an unlimited number of remote operators. Related, Swiss Post and Matternet to Suspend Deliveries and Walmart Files Patents for Drone Delivery.

Postmates and DoorDash Want to Deliver Your Groceries Too. Postmates is hoping to go nationwide in a deal with Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while Doordash has struck deals with Walmart and independent grocers in 22 states. Related, Tech Players Organize to Take Back the Last Mile from Instacart and Jett McCandless of p44 Explains Why Grocery Fulfillment Is Still Unprofitable.

Omnitracs Launches Fleet-management Platform. “Omnitracs One” is a blend of several different tools that Omnictracs has acquired over the past 6 years. Aggregating these tools including routing software, mobile software, and workflow software will streamline the channel of communication between truckers and back-office operators. Related, Navistar’s Telematics Platform Enables Better Truck Service.

FourKites Partners with Ocean Insights for Shipment Tracking.FourKites will integrate the ocean freight tracking data collected by Ocean insights with its real-time visibility offering. This will provide a single end-to-end platform for importers and exporters to manage detention and demurrage costs. Also, Traxens Publishes UN-approved Smart Container Tracking Standard while Convoy Launches “Convoy Connect” TMS for over the road.

VW’s Traton to Invest $2.2B in EVs and Software. Traton projects a third of its trucks and buses to have electric drivetrains by the early 2030s as regulators increasingly clamp down on emissions. Regarding emissions, Stricter EU CO2 Regulations Reshape Car Design.

Mobility 🚗

Uber to Launch On-demand Staffing Business in Chicago. In a continued attempt to secure profitability, Uber releases an app for matching workers with shifts. The app does this matching in partnership with staffing agencies, and it offers workers the carrot of more timely payments. Speaking of Uber, GV is Weighing Selling Uber Shares at the End of Lockup.

🌟UL 4600 Preliminary Draft Released. UL 4600 turns AV safety on its head with a prescriptive approach to defining suitable levels of assurance. “Other existing safety standards prescribe ‘how to do safety’ by following step 1, step 2, and step 3. UL 4600, in contrast, is about ‘how you’ve done safety enough.’” Speaking of AVs, Teleoperations Will Keep Humans in the AV Loop.

This Inside-Out Motor for EVs Is Power Dense and (Finally) Practical. Belgian startup Magnax has pioneered a method to mass-produce the axial-flux motor. The new design offers a peak power density of 15 kW/kg, while existing designs, such as the one in the BMW i3, generate one-fifth the power density at 3 kW/kg. The company believes it can scale the design to fit any desired automotive use case, all while running at greater efficiency by reducing iron loss. On the topic of EVs, VW Discussing Sharing Electric Platform with Peers and Amazon and Ford See Potential in Rivian

NYC Bans Cars on 14th Street. The Big Apple has followed Toronto’s lead and banned cars including Lyfts and Ubers from its major crosstown artery. The 14th street route now allows for buses to zip quickly from East to West with limited congestion. Speaking of congestion, Uber Copter Goes Public in NYC while the Kitty Hawk v3 VTOL is Unveiled (Doesn’t Appear to Be Practical)

📊The Future Of The In-Vehicle Experience. In-vehicle POS opportunities are slated to grow as ride-hailing platforms seek ways to boost profits and customer loyalty by offering auxiliary products, selling everything from video game consoles to snacks. 

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

Bird Raises $275M Led by Sequoia and CDPQ. In an environment placing increasing value on profitability, Bird shifts its focus entirely to positive unit economics. The new valuation of $2.5B is a $700M bump from the company’s last valuation of $1.8B.

Bounce to Raise $100M Led by Accel and B Capital. Bangalore-based two-wheeler rental startup is seeking to expand its fleet outside of Bangalore, with additional participation from others including Sequoia and Hudson Capital.

Dunzo Raises $45M Led by Google. The Series D round values the Bangalore-based hyper-local delivery service at $200M. The funds will be used to build out the company’s software and grow its network of SME partnerships.

Everledger Raises $20M Led by Tencent.U.K.-based Everledger uses blockchain and other emerging technologies to track high-ticket items like diamonds and wine. The team plans on using the funds to expand its reach to China.

Aero Raises $16M Led by Expa and GGV Capital. Aero is a private jet service that targets millennials looking to capture “instagram-worthy” experiences. The company will use the funding to build its mobile booking and ticketing system that matches up flyers who want to go to the same destination with small carriers willing to provide service.

Quicko Raises $10M Led by CCR and J2L. São Paulo-based Quicko is a mobile app for choosing on-the-ground transport across subways, buses, bike shares, ride-hailing, and electric scooters. The company now sets its sights on other densely-populated cities, namely London and Barcelona.

Meet Unagi, the iPhone of Scooters. The team raised a $3.2M seed led by Menlo Ventures to ramp their ambitions of building this 🤩piece of hardware.

Blackstone Buys Colony Industrial for $5.9B. The deal is Blackstone’s second major purchase of a warehouse network this year, as the PE firm moves to increase its exposure to last-mile logistics. The deal spans 60M SQF across 465 warehouses in 26 U.S. markets.

Tesla Acquires DeepScale. DeepScale is an SF-based startup that uses low-wattage processors to power more accurate computer vision. Musk’s idea is to enhance Tesla's Autopilot ADAS and offer EV robotaxis. 

Company Building 🛠️

🎧The 20 Minute VC: Brad Feld. Discussion on why market size at the early stage is not helpful, his biggest learnings from the boom & bust of the dot com and how the best VCs work for their CEOs.

The Great Public Market Reckoning. “If the product is software and thus can produce software gross margins (75% or greater), then it should be valued as a software company. If the product is something else and cannot produce software gross margins then it needs to be valued like other similar businesses with similar margins, but maybe at some premium to recognize the leverage it can get through software.”

How to Cold Email Investors. Keep the intro short from your company email address. Make sure to address your team, the problem you’re trying to solve, what your solution is, whether you have launched, your growth, how big you think the market could be, and if you know something about the problem that you think is controversial.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Frontend Engineer at Leaf Logistics in New York, NY.
Client Manager - Supply Chain Solutions at Skupos in Denver, CO.
Head of Sales at Zeelo in London, England.

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.