Dynamo Dispatch (04/01/19)

Issue 59 | Revvo, Lyft, Freight Derivatives

Dynamo Dispatch. Weekly update from Dynamo covering the latest and greatest in supply chain, mobility, and building venture-scale businesses.

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Weekly Commentary 💭

I’m up at Penn State this week for the beginning of Startup Week. I’m looking forward to seeing what students, faculty, and alumni are thinking, dreaming, and building. A couple updates...

We’ve had some stellar content on our blog recently. I would point you to the deep dive on barges (part 1, part 2) for a primer on the importance of an overlooked and underutilized segment of our supply chain.

This past week, we pulled the wraps off a bonus series on The Future of Supply Chain called Origins. Check out the first session where we sit with Stefan Seltz-Axmacher who explains how he identified the market need and shares the lessons he learned in building a world-class team at Starsky.

Oh and for more fun, check out this case picking robot from Boston Dynamics.

We Are Dynamo,
Santosh 💥

Supply Chain 📦

Flexport’s Uniqueness Rests In Its Pricing Power. In an interview with Ryan Petersen, JoC reports on the strategy the company plans to use going forward with $1B from Softbank. “If you’re a forwarder that is pricing for market share and admit that much of the work remains manual, you’re not that different — at least not yet.”

🌟 A Profile of the Humble Shipping Pallet and the World Around It. The world around traditional pallets is known as “whitewood” and employs 40K+ people across pickers, recyclers, manufacturers, and more. It turns out whitewood is under siege from bluewoods (among others).

📊 4M Robots in 50K Warehouses by 2025. In six short years, industry analysts believe that the rise of eCommerce, scarce labor demand, and the need to reduce fulfillment times without increasing costs is key to the ramp of the warehouse robot. Asia Pac is expected to see the bulk of this growth (but there’s plenty to eat in the US alone!).

Derivatives Emerging in Trucking Market. Venture-backed startups are providing various derivative products to help manage financial and operational exposure to the trucking markets. Futures and forwards each serve their own purposes with their respective puts/takes but ultimately bring greater transparency and improve the velocity of freight and capital in the global economy. Profiling Related: Freightwaves Launches Financially-settled Freight Futures Market.

IATA Sets Air Cargo Priorities. I find it interesting that IATA is pushing for investments in technology to modernize process and operations in a slowing trade environment. Invest into slowdowns to reap the benefits during an expansion.

📊 Retailer Last Mile Delivery Still Lagging Customer Expectations. It turns out that the vast majority (89%) of professionals don’t think they can deliver great last mile experiences due to transportation costs. Digging in, the top 3 challenges to delivery a great last mile experience are: analyzing disparate shipment data quickly; cost of appeasing customers are too high; and acting on shipment issues.

Mobility 🚗

Automotive Supply Chains Reforming Around Battery Sourcing. It turns out that Singapore might become a beneficiary although Chinese de-regulation and tariff reduction could work in China’s favor.

🎧 The Return of Supersonic Flight. Blake Scholl of Boom Supersonic shares his story and grand vision for upping the ante (or rather bringing us a safe, affordable Concord successor) when it comes to air travel.

⭐️ Mobile Parklets Offer Solutions for Micromobility. It can fit 8 bikes and with a license plate, it be parked anywhere for the same cost as parking a car. Now how do we get power to it so it can support electric modals?

Using Location Data for Guiding Micromobility Outcomes. Understanding how location data can help monitor how micromobility services interact with street infrastructure.

Millenials Do Drive A Lot. Research shows that millennial car ownership and usage differs very slightly (Millennials own approximately 0.4 fewer vehicles per household than the average Baby Boomer by the same stage of life) from their parents/baby boomers peers.

Lyft Focusing on Local Transportation with $50M Fund. Announced right prior to its IPO, Lyft will make intentional efforts to make cities more people centric and less car centric. I’m all for this, where can I mail $5 to support?

Strategic Developments, Fundraises, M&A 💸

Lyft IPOs Above Range and Trades Up 8%+. Leading the 2019 IPO schedule, Lyft performed well in its debut and is now worth $26B+. What’s next though? It appears that investors are banking on a future of AVs.

Revvo Raises $4M Series A. Revvo makes IoT for tires. Norwest Capital led the round.

Linear Labs Raises $4.5M Seed. Linear Labs makes next-gen electric motors for a variety of modes (cars, bikes, scooters, etc). Linear Labs says its motor produces two times the output per given motor size, and minimum 10 percent more range. Science Inc and Kindred led the round.

Preteckt Raises $2M Seed Round. Preteckt software leverages machine learning to  deliver vehicle prognostics. Las Olas Capital and Comet Labs led the round.

3D Hubs Raises Series C. Endeit Capital led the round in the automated manufacturing platform. Users can directly upload CAD files for an instant quote and lead time before automatically sourcing a supplier on the back end, completing a process in a few minutes.

Ouster Raises $60M to Ramp Lidar Manufacturing. The debt/equity round was led by unway Growth Capital and Silicon Valley Bank.

Delhivery Raises $413M from Softbank. The company is now valued at $1.5B and will use funds to scale into warehousing and freight services.

Amazon and VW Partner on Industrial Cloud. The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud aims to standardize and simplify data exchange between systems and plants, helping VW to optimize operations by anticipating and avoiding bottlenecks.

Interest in Customs Brokerage is Rising. It turns out there’s increased interest and deal volume in customers brokerage - managing the regulatory aspect of moving goods across borders.

Daimler Takes Control of Torc Robotics. Torc has been working on AVs for over a decade and gives Daimler a great asset in the marathon to self driving trucks.

Apple Hiring Head of Electric Powertrains for Project Titan. Michael Schwekutsch joins from Tesla and it turns out that Apple’s ambition extends beyond AV systems.

Company Building 🛠️

How to Deliver Constructive Feedback in Difficult Situations. This is a must read for all of us- we all engage with others so we should hone our interpersonal skills. One doesn’t need to be a founder, investor, or VP of XYZ to do so.

Thoughts on Compensation Transparency. An approach to giving people a clear line of sight into why they make what they make.

How to Build A Great Product Before Hiring Your First Product Manager. The things founders can learn to do well BEFORE they hire a great first product manager.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Network Engineer, Connected Vehicles at Gatik AI in Palo Alto, CA.

Full-Stack Developer at Vector AI in London, England.

Customer Success at LEAF Logistics in New York, NY.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

❤️ We would love your support. Please forward to friends or share on Twitter or LinkedIn.
🗞️ 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.