Dynamo Dispatch (11/12/18)

Issue 43 | Improving Warehouse ROI, Project Kepler, Ford/Spin

Dynamo Dispatch. Weekly update from Dynamo covering the latest and greatest in commerce and trade, #logisticstechnology, and building venture-scale businesses.

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Weekly Commentary 💭

No commentary today but check out Episode 2 of the Future of Supply Chain was published last week. I join Dynamo portfolio company founder, Diane of SEEVA to discuss weather-fencing, enabling technologies for automotive, and SEEVA's perception products for autonomy.

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We Are Dynamo,

Santosh 💥

What We’re Reading 📖

Supply Chain

Improving Warehouse ROI with Software & Robotics. With volumes up and employment high, both hardware and software investments are allowing companies to compete at a high level. Many large companies are making multi-billion dollar capital investments for materials handling automation (surveyed range $420K-$450K) while others are ramping technology spend related to WMS, TMS, visibility, labor management, and more.

Inside Walmart’s Self-Service Test Store. Located in Levitttown, NY, the store is a test bed for Project Kepler, Walmart’s self-service store (and a response to Amazon Go).

More Factories Closer to Customers. Increasingly, we've been discussing the shift of manufacturing in micro-factories that are closer to major population centers. The new plants counter logistics problems and rising transport costs — this shifts dollars from long haul to last mile.

New Maritime Blockchain Alliance Launches. News comes a week or so after IBM/Maersk expressed the sluggish adoption of their TradeLens blockchain effort. The new effort is based on CargoSmart Technology, Oracle's Blockchain offering, CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen, and Yang Ming — the latter four control a third of containership capacity.

Amazon Delivery Centers to Bridge Last Mile Needs. Once fulfilled, the majority of Amazon deliveries are still sent to incumbent carriers but a subset are going to one of 75+ delivery centers. Delivery partners here use their leased Mercedes sprinter vans for fulfillment and provide better service — photo confirmation of delivery, in-house/in-car drops, or Sunday delivery.

JLL on Urban Infill Logistics. Last mile in urban environments increasingly requires a network of well-integrated, (micro)warehouses. JLL discusses opportunities to drive a more timely, economic last mile last mile network.

Prologis Has Built the First American Multi-Story Warehouse. The three-story facility near the Port of Seattle has 590k sq ft of space with high ceilings, ample capacity for trucks, and a layout to support efficient distribution operations. It's one of three facilities (the others in NYC) expected to be built and ready for use in the next 12 months.

PlusOne Robotics Raises $8.3M Series A. Dynamo portfolio company closes Series A led by Pritzker Group VC with participation from Zebra Technologies and hires David Scheffrahn as VP of Sales.

Turvo Raises $60M Series B. The "networked-TMS" provider will count Mubadala Ventures, G2VP, and Siemens' Next 47 as investors.


Ford Buys Spin. Ahead of what seems to be a near-certain shake-out, Spin was able to sell for a rumored $100M after raising $8M in VC and finalizing a token sale of $125M. Being materially undercapitalized in this market will prove to be the harbinger of failure.

Robyn Denholm is Tesla’s New Chairwoman. A four year Tesla board veteran, Denholm will join Tesla full-time to ensure Musk is in compliance after breaking SEC rules. Denholm is CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecom company as well as a board member at ABB.

Bikes are Faster than Cars and Motorbikes in Cities. Data from millions of Deliveroo transactions across 30,000 riders in 13 countries proves that bikes are the ultimate urban form factor.

What Makes Tesla Autopilot Different. Contrary to other industry developers, Tesla’s engineers believe that neural networks can write code to automate driving, replacing code written by humans.

A Data-Informed Look at Internal Combustion Engines vs Electric Vehicles. A must read tweet storm that centers around the EV revolution and the impact on energy.

Lime Issues Global Recall Over Defective Scooters. The Okai scooters in question apparently can occasionally fall apart mid-use when subjected to misuse. The extent of the recall is difficult to determine.

Over 50% of Trips Addressable by Micromobility & The Micromobility Race to 1T Miles. From analyst Horace Dediu.

Arc Raises from JLR's InMotion Ventures. The startup has created the $100,000 electric bike with an integrated human-machine interface.

Transit Raises $17.5M Series B from Major OEMs. Transit allows city dwellers to get around without a car — very Citymapper-esque. The round was led by Alliance Ventures (Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi) with participation from JLR's InMotion Ventures.

Company Building

Founders — What Happens When You're Fully Vested. A generally sensitive topic, Fred Wilson provides great advice to founders who are wondering what happens when they fully vest, considerations to asking for an additional grant, and when it might make sense to transition.

Founders, Don't Let Anyone Screw Early Investors. It's not uncommon for some investors to entice founders with a re-up during a financing despite offering a lower valuation. This is a great primer to understand the mechanics of such decisions. Ultimately, it's a startup's early backers who suffer.

What We’re Listening To 🎧

Postal Hub Podcast: Same-Day Delivery with the Sharing Economy. A variety of topics are covered: delivery models, same-day delivery technology, consumer expectations, market expansion, financing, and more.

The Future of Supply Chain: Diane Lansinger on Making Drivers Safer. I join Dynamo portfolio company founder, Diane of SEEVA to discuss weather-fencing, enabling technologies for automotive, and SEEVA's perception products for autonomy.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Data Engineer at SKUPOS in San Francisco, CA.

Trucking Operations at Starsky Robotics in Dallas, TX.

Senior Full-Stack Engineer at Stord in Atlanta, GA.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.