Dynamo Dispatch (10/14/19)

Issue 80 | Tier, Einride, Polte

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 💭

We announced earlier this morning that Jon Bradford has joined Dynamo as our fourth partner. Jon was the catalyst behind the founding of Dynamo four years ago as he identified the gap in venture capital serving supply chain and mobility founders. He has since advised us on launching our first fund, scaling fund operations, and building an enduring firm. We are proud to have Jon join us full-time and know that founders will benefit greatly from his involvement.

We are back on the road this week in Indianapolis and Bentonville the following week. Give us a shout at hello at dynamo dot vc if you’re around for a coffee. 

Have a great week!

We Are Dynamo,
Santosh, Ted, Barry, and Jon

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

Supply Chain 📦

Schneider and Truckstop.com Launch "Book It Now" Mobile App. Following a couple of successful pilots, Schneider releases an application to post, assign and tender loads directly to approved carriers. Using this digital tender process, carriers can book and manage loads all within the Truckstop.com mobile application. 

🌟IBM Builds out New AI-Driven Supply Chain Tools. IBM bundled supply chain management toolkit, dubbed “The Sterling Supply Chain Suite,” saved testers 7% in shipping costs on average in pilots. IBM is making an effort to stay on top of eCommerce and global supply chain growth with more control over demand forecasting, production planning and other activities that would result in better decision making. Speaking of AI, Lineage Logistics’ AI Tools Resulting in $4M in Costs Savings.

📊Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index 2019. Global parcel volume reached 87B in 2018, up from 74B parcels in 2017 and the highest since the Index began. Despite global trade uncertainty, PB forecasts this figure will more than double within the next six years and reach 200B parcels by 2025. China continues to be the fastest-growing region while the US retains total share with parcel shipping revenue of $119B in 2018.

Amazon Rolls Out Branded Trucks. As Amazon scales it’s logistics ambitions, it appears we’ve reached the inevitable moment where they start ramping asset purchases with their own power units. The day cabs are being built by Volvo and Kenworth and be used for journeys 400 miles or less. Also, Amazon Fires Delivery Firms After Reports of Deaths.

E-Commerce Drives Demand for Smaller Warehouses. New CBRE analysis says rents for warehouses between 70,000 and 120,000 square feet rose by more than 30% over the past five years. Driving this is a push by businesses and logistics providers to get goods closer to dense population centers to expedite deliveries. Related, Kenco debuts 10,000 Square Foot Innovation Lab.

UPS Makes $450M Investment in Gas-Powered Trucks. Over the next three years, UPS will buy approximately 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks as it looks to expand its use of alternative fuels.UPS is aiming to have a quarter of its vehicles bought in 2020 to run on alternatives. 

Why Europe Rail Freight Transport Lags Behind. European railcars are dwarfed by U.S. volume and throughput. Standard American railroad cars carry 286,000 pounds of freight, but in Europe, a typical axle load is only about 45,000 pounds. Additionally, U.S. freight trains are about triple the length, averaging 6,600 feet.

Mobility 🚗

Volvo and Geely Join Forces for EVs. Volvo and China’s Geely will consolidate their engine operations into a standalone company to minimalize material costs through scale. Volvo’s CEO proposes the move in an attempt to shift the company’s focus entirely to electric powertrains. More on EVs, DHL Unveils new Version of Popular StreetScooter Electric Delivery van

📊 The State of Travel & Mobility Tech in 2019. Lufthansa’s Innovation Hub releases an overview of the 10 most pressing shifts affecting the travel and mobility tech sectors. Notable takeaways include investment in the space doubling last year to $44B, taking up almost 20% of the VC allocation. Also, China has become the #1 market for VC investments in travel & mobility Tech startups—ahead of the U.S. Also, CVCs zero in on late-stage deals, shifting 42% of their investment to late-stage deals, as the industry matures and consolidates.

🌟Pittsburgh Pioneers Resident-hatched Mobility Hubs. Pittsburgh’s MobiliT transportation consortium brought together the entire community to brainstorm mobility options that customers could access and book through a single platform (MaaS). The winning plan was for constructed mobility hubs where customers could find some combination of bike-share stations, Zipcar vehicles, Waze carpool pickup spots, and parked and charged e-bikes and scooters from Spin to rent. All powered by the Transit app. More on micromobility, Amsterdam is Cutting Cars out of the Picture.

Tesla’s Model 3 is the Best Selling Luxury Car in the Country. Model 3 sales represent about a quarter of total market share. This was more than the BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES, and Mercedes C-Class combined last quarter! The Model 3’s fervent fan base continues to outshine critics from Tesla’s shareholder base. Also, Completely Driverless Waymo Cars Are on the Way.

Via Launching On-demand Public Transit Network in Cupertino. Via’s network will cover the entire 11-square-mile city. The shuttle will cost $5 a ride or users can buy weekly and monthly passes for $17 and $60, respectively.

Dyson Nixes Electric Car Project. After 3 years and a £2B commitment, Dyson scraps its electric car because it was too heavily committed to design over commercial viability. However, half of the funds will still be used to continue the company’s battery research.

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

RigUp Raises $300M Led by a16z. Austin, Texas-based RigUp was described by Andreesen partner David George as the “LinkedIn of Industrial Jobs,” seeing differentiated value in deep vertical specialization.

Tier Raises $60M Led by UAE’s Mubadala. The Berlin-based e-scooter company said it would use the money to accelerate its expansion across all of Europe. The round was led in part by one of the vehicles behind SoftBank’s Vision Fund. 

DeepRoute Raises $50M Led by Fosun RZ Capital. DeepRoute is focusing on providing full stack, L4 autonomy solutions. Funds will be used to grow its operations and expand its business reach.

Einride Raises $25M Leb by EQT Ventures. The self-driving truck startup claims the Series A round will help the Sweden-based business expand into the U.S.

Lilium to Raise $500M for its Electric Flying Taxis. Lilium announced its first successful flight for a new five-seat eVTOL vehicle earlier this year. If you recall from last week, this is far more practical than Kitty Hawk’s 1-seater. 

Revel Raises $27.6M Led by Ibex Investors. Revel is a rideshare electric moped company. To bear in mind, Its drivers are full-time employees, which alleviates any concerns about AB5. 

Polte Raises $12.5M Series A. Potle is a software solution that enables parcel tracking by augmenting IoT devices with 4G and 5G signal.

Flexport Acquires Container Tracking Company Crux Systems. Crux Systems automates container shipment visibility for shippers freight forwarders and haulers. Ryan Peterson commented, “integrating [their] technology directly into our platform will allow us to align incentives with our customers and operate with real skin in the game.”

VW is Considering Divestment of Lamborghini. VW wants to dial-in on its core brands by either selling off Lamborghini or floating the brand for an IPO, which it purchased in 1998.

Uber to Acquire Grocery Delivery Startup Cornershop. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. Cornershop was set to be acquired by Walmart earlier this year, but it was halted by Mexican antitrust regulators.

Walmart Promotes Sam’s Club Head to Run US business. John Furner will take the helm of Walmart’s U.S. business starting next month. Furner started with Walmart as an hourly associate in 1993, working part-time in the garden center, and worked his way up.

Company Building 🛠️

Brad Feld: What Founders Need to Know About Recent Changes in VC Deal Terms. Advice on thinking through fundraising, investor/company dynamics, and targeting the smallest raise possible. 

OpenView’s Expansion SaaS Benchmarking 2019. Objective data to help operators compare themselves against their exact peers across the metrics that matter most in a SaaS.

Startup Boards 101. A comprehensive collection of resources for understanding board structure, roles, meeting management, and adding/removing seats.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Mechatronics Engineer at Gatik AI in Palo Alto, CA.

Senior Backend Engineer at Verusen in Atlanta, GA.

Lead Product 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.