Dynamo Dispatch (09/28/20)

Issue 122 | Silo, Aurora, Rappi

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’re looking for recent and to-be graduates (Class of 2019 and 2020) to join us as our next Venture Fellow starting January 1, 2021. Please send brilliant and curious minds our way- if you refer the “winning” candidate, we’ll send you a surprise. See here for more details.

Big thanks to Brian Carthas, Tyler Churchill, and Chang Xu this 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 📦

Industrial Robot Adoption +12% Y/Y in 2019. As of 2019, there are nearly 2.7M industrial robots operating in factories across the world. The pandemic has accelerated the trend of human-robot collaboration as manufacturers seek modernization and digitalization of production processes to balance losses. Asia remains the market with the greatest adoption but the US leads in terms of industrial use. Speaking of robots, a Deeper Dive into the Chinese Robot Industry.

UPS on the Impact of Green Supply Chains. By 2021, a quarter of all vehicles purchased by UPS will be powered with alternative fuel or advanced technology and the company will aim to source 25% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The company's sustainability efforts come in light of consistent efforts from logistics providers to transform and implement sustainable practices into their supply chains.Related Walmart Targets Zero Emissions by 2040

Understanding Reverse Logistics for Heavy Goods. Drawing on elevated eComm demand, the market for online delivery of heavy-goods will eclipse $11.8B by the end of the year. The complexities around reverse logistics have made it a pain point for many retailers who struggle to minimize the hefty costs of returns; as the rise of predictive analytics helps retailers adopt forward-thinking strategies surrounding specialized freight needs.

Motion Acquisition SPAC Looks to Raise $130M for Telematics Acquisition. Led by the former CEO of Fleetmatics, Motion Acquisition files for an IPO as it seeks to scoop up companies in the telematics space. The SPAC is searching for opportunities across fleet management, fleet maintenance, asset tracking, video telematics, digital freight brokerage, field service management, transportation management systems, and usage-based insurance. ICYMI, Truck Electrification Company, Hyliion to Go Public Via SPAC.

DHL Logistics Trend Radar 5th Edition. DHL explores 29 trends reshaping the logistics industry. Separated on a high/low impact scale, DHL categorizes seismic shifts across auto mobility, manufacturing, energy, life sciences, and eRetail. Harping on technological trends, the report states “79% of supply chain professionals now expect AI to become a core competence in their organization by 2022 and 88% believe it will help to improve risk management and predictability in operations.” The report notes another opportunity, the $3.4T Financing Gap in  Global Trade

CH Robinson Launches ProcureIQ. The new tool developed in CH Robinson’s Innovation Incubator aims to solve the long-established annual process of freight bidding for large shippers. Leveraging data from the world’s largest shippers and carriers, ProcureIQ generates a personalized overview of the shippers’ lanes or routes which are integrated into a data marketplace comprising over 200K carriers and shippers.  

FedEx Partners with Reliable Robotics on Autonomous Cargo Planes. Deploying small turboprop airplanes, FedEx will explore the feasibility of unmanned single-engine aircraft for cargo delivery across rural and less dense areas within its network. With two successful test flights completed in August, Reliable is collaborating with the FAA to quickly bring the technology to market as FedEx intends for the planes to work in tandem with its existing fleet. On the ground, FMCSA Denies Pronto.ai HoS Exemption Request.

Mobility 🚗

California Plans to Ban Sales of Gas-Powered Cars by 2035. In our opinion, this is the top mobility headline of the week. It's a forcing function for OEMs to provide adequate supply of EVs across form factors while also forcing the hand of consumers even if the cost curve of EVs remain above comparable ICE offerings. As we know, 15 yrs feels like a long time but that's not THAT long in the automotive world. The bulk of this will be getting supply chains in order if you assume the conversion of an existing model will take ~5 yrs. Just in time, Ford preps the Electric F-150

Recap of Tesla’s Battery Day. Tesla is making a more concerted push to vertically integrate and own battery manufacturing to control design implementations, factory capacity/throughout and production costs. Control is key here- when using third parties, one trades away control that can drive competitive advantage. This boils down to minimizing $/kWh given the battery subsystem is the most expensive component of an EV. Drill down, What Tesla Will Put in its New Batteries.

Meet the VW ID.4Volkswagen targets the crossover SUV market with the ID.4 unveil. Operating on VW’s MEB platform, the vehicle features an 82 kWh battery enabling a 250-mile range and level 2 charging capabilities. Starting with an initial price tag of $39K, a $35K version of the ID.4 is expected in 2022 and will be manufactured at VW's plant in Chattanooga, TN. ID.4 customers will get three years of charging at Electrify America stations as competitor, ChargePoint Preps to Go Public at $2.4B Valuation.

The Dutch Bike Rental Company Reshaping Micromobility. Originally meant for students to navigate around campus localities, Swapfiets has taken Europe by storm with operations now spanning 50 cities and over 200K users. The lease-like business model has garnered significant traction as riders of shared mobility platforms seek alternative options as a result of the pandemic.Related,Ford’s Micromobility Subsidiary Spin Reveals New Features

The ADAS Partnership Between Mobileye and Geely. In a deal with one of China’s largest private auto manufacturers, Mobileye will leverage its computer vision technology to create a full stack solution for driving policy and control. Geely is fond of Mobileye’s over the air update capabilities which enables the OEM to seamlessly scale driver assistance features over the vehicle's lifetime. Also, Volvo to Benefit from Geely’s New EV Platform.

An All-Electric Aircraft Comes to Market. Heart Aerospace reveals all-electric drivetrain and battery tech for its 19 seater aircraft specifically for short haul flights of 2000km or less. If the development and certification process follows the scheduled timeline, the aircraft will begin fossil fuel free commercial operations in 2025.Also,Airbus Unveils 3 New Zero-Emission Aircraft Concepts.

US Urged to Bolster its EV Industry or Risk Chinese Dependency. As China tightens its grip on electrified transport supply chains, US business and military officials issue stark warnings. Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), urges bipartisan action to prevent China from fully controlling the industry. Some global perspective; China produces over 75% battery of chemicals, 66% of cathodes, 82% of anodes, and 72% of battery cells, whereas the US severely lacks in the extraction of lithium and other rare earth metals, all essential to the EV supply chain. 

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

Ecomedes Raises a $1.5M Seed Round From Saint-Gobain NOVA and PivotNorth. Ecomedes is a cloud based SaaS platform enabling manufacturers, designers, builders, and building owners to procure sustainable building products. New funds will help Ecomedes to build SaaS collaboration and optimization tools for modern commercial building product selection.

Voliro Raises a €1.9M Seed Round Led by Alpana Ventures. Voliro develops of advanced aerial robots. With the fresh funds, Voliro will accelerate the development of its industrial grade flying inspection robots. 

Fulcrum Raises a $3.1M Seed Round Led by Motivate Ventures. Fulcrum is a MES for small to mid sized manufacturers that streamlines automated data collection. With the new capital, Fulcrum will make product enhancements and ramp up sales and marketing efforts to accelerate growth.

Silo Secures a $9M Series A Led by Andreessen Horowitz. Silo helps streamline supply chains in the perishable food system. The new capital will accelerate Silo’s growth by opening new offices across the US as well as hiring an engineering staff to oversee the development of new financial services and logistics tools.

Whitebox Raises $18M in Series B Funding Led by Noro-Moseley Partners. Whitebox manages eCommerce logistics and fulfillment for a variety of consumer brands. Fresh funding will enable Whitebox to expand its sales and marketing teams, further develop its technology, and build out its fulfillment centers.

Magazino Raises €21M in Series B Funding Led by Jungheinrich and the European Investment Bank. Magazino is developing intelligent mobile robots for warehouse logistics. The capital raised will help expand international sales and accelerate the adoption of ACROS.AI, its software platform for intelligent robots that can be used by third-party hardware.

Aurora Labs Raises a $23M Series B Led by LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, and Others. Aurora is a connected car analytics startup based in Tel Aviv. The new capital will be used to help prepare for serial implementation over the course of the next two years. 

Beyond Limits Raises a $133M Series C Led by Group 42 and BP Ventures. Beyond Limits is an industrial and enterprise-grade AI technology company that focuses on energy, utilities and healthcare. With the new funding, Beyond Limits will expand its footprint within those sectors.

Rappi Raises Over $300M in Funding Led by T. Rowe Price Associates. Rappi is a Colombia-based all purpose delivery marketplace. A specific use of funding was not detailed.

WM Motor Raises a $1.47B Series D Led by SAIC Motor. WM Motor is a five year old EV startup based in China. The latest capital injection will support R&D costs, branding, and marketing/expansion of its sales channels.

Trevor Milton Out at Nikola. Days after several pernicious accusations were brought to light regarding the electric truck company, Executive Chairman and Founder Trevor Milton officially resigned on Monday. Dynamo Partner Santosh Sankar weighed in on the implications of clean-tech investing and SPACs saying, “If anything, it might accelerate the investments in real leaders and real products with the competition hamstrung.” 

Company Building 🛠️

The Seven Biases of Product Teams. A visual inquiry on the biases that inhibit product success- read it yourself.

Bundles in 2020. Ben Thompson at Stratechery reflects on his 2017 piece around bundling. While focused on consumer media and digital companies, there’s applicable observations for other industries as well.

The Mike Speiser Incubation Playbook. Speiser at Sutter Hill is considered to be one of the top venture investors and they use a controversial approach to investing- incubating companies. This piece drills down into his incubation strategy to see how he put Snowflake on a path to be the best SaaS IPO of all time.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Lead Test Automation Engineer at SVT Robotics in Norfolk, VA.

Digital Marketing Manager at Skupos in Denver, CO.

Senior Sales Executive at Vector AI in London, UK.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

💥 Have you seen any interesting startups recently? Introduce us.
❤️ We would love your support. Please forward to friends and share on social media.
🗞️ If you were forwarded this and found it interesting, please sign up.
🎙 Check out Dynamo's podcast series, The Future of Supply Chain.

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