Dynamo Dispatch (06/03/19)

Issue 66 | HUUB, TriEye, XStream & Founders Camp 2019

Dynamo Dispatch. Weekly update from Dynamo 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 Founders Camp 2019 last Friday and are thrilled to bring the ecosystem together once again in Chattanooga, TN. A big thank you to our headline sponsors (Chick-fil-a, Covenant Transportation, Schneider National, and FreightWaves) and our local sponsors (EPB, Waller Law, and Market Street Partners). If you are a seed or Series A founder (or know one), tell them to apply for an invite.

Funny enough, our friend Breton Birkhofer from Prologis Ventures will be joining us at Founders Camp this fall and was on The Future of Supply Chain to share his thinking on the warehouse workplace of the future -- have a listen.

We’re excited to launch into summer with the announcement of our next Founders Camp. Be on the lookout for more big Dynamo news through the summer!

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 📦

💥 Dynamo Announces Founders Camp 2019 Sponsored by Chick-fil-A, Covenant, Schneider, and FreightWaves. “Our week at Founders Camp led us to adding multi-million dollar revenue opportunities to our pipeline, valuable company building perspectives and involvement in one of the most potent supply chain networks in the world,” said LEAF Logistics CEO and co-founder Anshu Prasad regarding his company’s participation in Founders Camp 2018.

🌟 eCargobikes Are More Efficient Than Vans. It turns out that electric cargo bikes can 3x deliveries relative to delivery vans. A London courier delivery company, Absolutely Sameday is investing in the electric eCargo modal after seeing their staff make up to 30 deliveries/day vs vans that are averaging 10 to 12.

FedEx Launching 7 Day Delivery in January 2020. The average daily volume for small parcels in the US is expected to double by 2026 spurring FedEx to expand its peak-season offering, year-round.

Digital Brokers Aim to Streamline US Cross-border Flows. The 88-lane US/Mexico border saw massive delays earlier this year when US border personnel were reallocated. Now, some digital brokers are looking to streamline freight flows with technology to reduce reliance on regulatory bodies and dated techniques to keep freight moving as usual. But what about the impact of Trump’s Mexico Tariffs? Also, how Amazon’s Brokerage Could Soak Up Capacity and Hurt Competing Brokers.

What Truck Drivers Think About Autonomy. These sketch notes are eye opening to the differing sentiment (but generally negative) from drivers towards autonomy and technology, broadly. In the UK, 15% of Driver Vacancies Cannot Be Filled. Related, Daimler Launches Dedicated Autonomous Trucks Group.

🌟 Walmart and Amazon Going Direct to Railroads. The retailers are in discussions directly with the Class I railroads to enter in service agreements, departing from the historical structure in which shippers are required to use intermediaries to procure space. Related, Train Technology Interoperability is Still Low.

Mobility 🚗

Uber’s First Earnings Report. I have yet to see an amazing analysis and without a form 10Q, that’s tough to do. I’m unsure why the $1B loss is news (what did everyone expect, a profit in the first public quarter?). The baseline reporting structure could be more transparent and easy to follow with ridesharing margins clearer and details around Micromobility and Freight given the major on-going investments. A rather Negative View on Uber’s Economic Future (I don’t agree but I align with Plato’s thinking so always try to follow “the opponent’s” thinking).

Air Travel in the US Might Be Awful this Summer. The 254M+ people expected to fly this summer might face long lines and congestion after the Boeing 737 Max caused mandatory groundings and TSA staff face reassignment to the Mexican border.

🎧 How Cities Can Prepare for AVs. A discussion regarding smart cities, autonomy, mass transit et al in our cities between Ed Olson of May Mobility, Marcus Welz of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems and Ed Bernardon of Siemens Strategic Automotive.

Studies Don’t Support Elon Musk’s Autopilot Safety Claims. Every Tesla owner I know understands the limits of the Autopilot system and wouldn’t rely on it to drive. That said, it would behoove Tesla to rename Autopilot to better reflect its capabilities. How about “Pilot Assist” to keep the pilot vernacular alive?

Google Maps Update Flags Speed Limits and Traps. I noticed this last weekend driving to Greenville, SC and was thankful for the upgrade (just in time for some summer trips).

Promises and Pitfalls of eScooter Sharing. “While the market potential for e-scooters is promising, their unit economics, at least for the first generation of vehicles, are challenging.” Did you see, Revel has 1,000 shared Electric Mopeds in Brooklyn and Queens?

Strategic Developments, Fundraises, M&A 💸

Korean Grocery Delivery Company, Kurly Closes $113M Series D. The latest round was closed out by Hillhouse Capital.

Firefly Raises $30M Series A to Bring Ads to Ridesharing. Only fitting that GV led the round with participation from NFX. The company works with drivers for Uber, Lyft and other services to install a “digital smart screen” that can run targeted, geofenced advertising.

TriEye Secures $17M Series A Led By Intel Capital. Short-Wave-Infra-Red (SWIR) sensing technology is able to see in adverse weather and night-time conditions.

FreshToHome Raises $11M Series A for Indian Meat Delivery. The round was led by CE Ventures, with participation from Das Capital, Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings, M&S Partners and other Asia and Valley-based Investors.

XStream Trucking Raise $10.5M Series A. The startup makes hardware systems for truckings including it’s TruckWings, gap-filling product. Autotech Ventures and Calibrate Ventures co-led the round with participation from the existing shareholders of Uncork Capital, Root Ventures, FusionX and Tandem Capital.

Twaice Raises €2M Seed from Cherry. The startup offers predictive analytics software to help with battery management in electric vehicles and other devices

Pitstop Raises $1.5M Seed. Pitstop offers a combined data and prognostics tool that can predict failures, prevent inefficiencies and reduce maintenance costs. The startup is also partnered with Continental.

Maersk €1.5M in the Portuguese Fashion Logistics Startup, HUUB. THE HUUB platform integrates with ecommerce sites providing a full range of logistics solutions including production follow-up, picking, storage, stock management, order fulfillment, packing, and shipping.

Aurora Buys Blackmore. The Chris Urmson-founded AV startup that’s backed by Sequoia and Amazon has purchased Blackmore for it’s LIDAR competencies.

GM Maven Paring Back as New Transportation Models Prove to Be Challenging. The company will close in 8 of the 17 cities it operates in. Reading between the lines, I suspect the remaining markets are where there is a path to positive unit economics for GM Maven.

FirstGroup Selling UK Bus Business to Focus on US. The company said that in future, its core market would be North America, where its school bus operations – First Student and First Transit – generated 60% of operating profits. It will also sell the Greyhound line as part of the rationalization.

Careem Acquires Cyacle. Following in the steps of its global peers and parent, Uber, Careem’s purchase of Cyacle now augments its ride sharing network a micromobility option.

The Politics Behind the Fiat Chrysler/Renault Merger Proposal. The €33B proposal comes with a variety of socio-economic, cultural, and political considerations that all parties need to evaluation. While it would do little for the pair in US and Asia, it would launch the combined entity to a 17% market share behind VW with 24%.

Kenco Announces Expansion of Innovation Lab. A new 10,000 ft2 space will be a living lab and showcase for mobile robots, autonomous vehicles, smart glasses, and WMS software.

Lime Co-founders Swap Roles. Brad Bao will step in as CEO as the company scales and Toby Sun will shift to a R&D role.

Company Building 🛠️

Business Model Crash Course for Data Scientists. A primer for data scientists trying to augment their technical acumen with business model understanding.

Fred Wilson on [Un]SAFE Notes. My partner Barry and I have a saying that "converts crush common." What we mean is that carelessly raising excessive amounts at various caps leads to founders (and early investors) getting more diluted than they realize. Related, Investor Funnels for Series As from YC.

Some Great SaaS Sales References: David Skok on Sales Compensation; Updated Sales Compensation Data; Building an In-direct Sales Program.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Software Engineer (Simulation) at Gatik AI in Toronto, Ontario.

Customer Success at LEAF Logistics in New York, NY.

Transportation Specialist at Stord in Atlanta, GA.

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.