Dynamo Dispatch (07/20/20)

Issue 114 | sennder, Plus One Robotics, how.fm

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 💭

Stay safe out there!

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 📦

Flexport’s Data Advantage Could Create Opportunity in the Midst of calamity. Despite the obvious challenges freight forwarders face in a global pandemic, Flexport claims their use of data has helped them win continued business. Properly using and understanding data helps provide transparency for Flexport’s clients as they try to “understand what the consequences were for their portfolio” as a result of tariffs and the pandemic. In surface transportation, Convoy Offers New Service Targeting Operators using it’s data advantage.

73% of Companies Report Supply-side Disruption During COVID-19. In a month-long survey of over 350 global manufacturers and retailers, more than 70% of respondents faced supply chain disruptions as a result of the pandemic. 40% of survey participants plan to enhance their due diligence processes of procurement operations and sourcing methodologies, as only “47% said they just knew the geographic location of their critical tier two suppliers”. 

🌟Trucking Reigns Supreme in Terms of Freight Movement. More than $790B in revenue was generated by the trucking industry after moving 11.84B tons of freight in 2019, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). Outpacing other industry sectors, 2019 trucking revenues accounted for over 80% of the nation's freight totals. Also, Despite a Recession, Freight Volumes are +25% y/y.

💥FedEx Implements Robotic Arms in Memphis Hub. Plus One Robotics (Dynamo portfolio company) deployed four new sortation arms with Yaskawa America to help FedEx manage peak season volume. The robots will help enhance efficiency ahead of “surge” this fall and empower human operators rather than replace them. In Erik’s words, “robots work, people rule.” In grocery automation, Takeoff Technologies Discusses Microfulfillment

Bob Biesterfeld on the Recovery from ‘Huge Supply-Chain Dislocation’. Reverberations from the coronavirus have forced some trucking carriers to close up shop but Biesterfeld believes the trucking environment has become even more robust than we saw heading into the pandemic. Biesterfeld’s optimistic tone paints an improving picture as freight volumes attempt to return to normal levels. ICYMI, CH Robinson and Microsoft Announce Visibility Partnership.

Navistar Takes Stake in TuSimple; Eyes 2024 for AV Trucks. Navistar proves bullish on autonomous trucks as they acquire a minority stake in TuSimple. Through this strategic partnership, Navistar and TuSimple plan to have their co-engineered Level 4 autonomous truck enter into full scale production by 2024. Speaking of trucks, Amazon Begins Using Larger Trucks akin to UPS and FedEx. 

Drewery-ESC Release Survey on Ocean Cargo. A new survey conducted by Drewery and the European Shipping Council indicates shippers and forwarders are most concerned with availability of cargo space as they select carriers. The survey also suggests that macroeconomic market volatility will continue to negatively impact relationships between shippers, forwarders, and carriers as the detrimental pandemic impact continues. Also, IHS Markit Economist on the Ocean Cargo Industry and Part II

Mobility 🚗

Want to Stop Car Crashes? Study Near-Misses. By collecting over 5k hours of data from high conflict roadways, Bellevue, WA used AI to extract and isolate patterns, aiming to reduce crashes in their city. Bellevue officials are confident the results can pinpoint citywide problem areas and allow them to transform into a “Vision Zero” city (no roadway deaths) by 2030. 

New York State Commits to Expanding EV Infrastructure with $750M Investment. New York State’s announcement comes on the heels of Florida deploying $8.6M to expand its EV charging capacity across the state. The environmental focused initiative will bring over 50k charging stations to the Empire State. Elsewhere, Auburn University Constructs AV Research Facility

Bosch Prototype eBike is 👀🍬. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its drive unit system, Bosch unveils a futuristic yet practical prototype of their eBike. While Bosch manufactures bike components rather than the bike itself, the prototype demonstrates the range of design capabilities by a Tier 1 such as Bosch. Related, eBikes to the Rescue

🌟German Court Bans Tesla Ad Statements Related to AVs. A German court has ordered Tesla to cease displaying misleading advertisements pertaining to the company’s driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. After several regulator complaints, the automaker has notified customers that automated driver assistance technology didn’t equate to full autonomous driving capabilities.  Meanwhile, Mobileye Wins Approval to Test AVs in Germany.

New Ford Bronco Copycat Has Already Appeared in China. Just seven days after its media debut, the new 2021 Ford Bronco already has imitators. Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors previewed images of the Wey P01, a vehicle eerily similar to the Ford Bronco. The P01 will be unveiled sometime in the coming week and available for sale shortly after. Also, the Ford Bronco Debuts with 10 Colors and the story behind The Bronco Designer, McKinley Thompson

Letting Your Insurer Ride Shotgun for Discounted Rates. Would you trade privacy for lower insurance rates? There’s an increasing number of apps tracking driver behaviors behind the wheel in exchange for discounted premiums. The apps track braking frequency, acceleration, speed, and cellular device during driving, amongst other features. 

Volvo Launches eBuses in Australia. Volvo deploys four electric buses after  partnership with Western Australia's Public Transit Authority.  The buses will reach full implementation in 2022 with aims to significantly reduce Australia's carbon footprint and create an entire fleet of electric vehicles for the continent. See how India’s e-bus experiment unfolded

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

💥sennder Enters JV with Poste Italiane to Digitize the Italian Road Freight Market. Dynamo portfolio company, sennder joins forces with Poste Italiane to accelerate the digitalization of Italy’s freight market. Through partnership with sennder, Italy’s largest logistics operator can now have complete GPS visibility of trucks, reduced CO2 emissions, and 6% savings on annual FTL spending.

how.fm Raises $2.8M in Additional Seed Funding Led by Kindred Capital and Capnamic Ventures.how.fm is a digital training platform for worker onboarding, training, and performance support, and actual work procedures and processes. The new funding will help how.fm grow their team in Germany and remotely as well as improving their product offering.

Swyft Raises C$3M Seed Led By Trucks VC. The Toronto-based last-mile aggregator plans to use funds to scale engineering and sales. Golden Ventures and Panache Ventures also participated in the round. 

Crisp Raises $12M in Series A Funding Led by FirstMark Capital.New York-based startup Crisp develops software to support information flows in and across the global food chain in order to reduce food waste, improve profitability, and feed the world. Crisp will use the fresh capital to expand its supply chain technology and build an open data platform connecting thousands of companies in the food industry.

Skydio Raises $100M in Series C Funding Led by Next 47. Skydio is a US based drone manufacturer offering fully autonomous drones for business, public safety, and creative ventures. With the capital, Skydio can accelerate their product development efforts and expand its go-to-market strategy while aiming to improve public sector drone technology.

Drover Raises $26M Co-Led by Target Global, RTP Global, and Autotech Ventures.Drover is a U.K based startup providing access to flexible car subscriptions lasting longer than a rental but shorter than a lease. The new funding will help Drover hire new talent and invest in new technology to calibrate price and personalize offers for individuals.

Voi Technology Secures Another $30M Led by VNV Global. The Swedish micro-mobility startup t offers electric scooters and bike-sharing in partnership with cities and local communities. Voi will use the funding to help fuel expansion into the U.K Market where the government has permitted test trials of e-scooters.

Flipkart Lands $1.2B From Lead Investor Walmart. Flipkart is India’s largest e-commerce store offering over 150 million products online across 80 categories. With new funding, Flipkart plans to expand their online services offered as they grapple for market share with Amazon and physical stores, who drive the majority of retail revenue across India. 

Uber Acquires Atlanta-Based Routematch. The public transit SaaS provider develops software that manages trip planning, vehicle tracking, payment and tools for fixed-route transit, and paratransit services. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s evident Uber is slowly and strategically making their way into the public transit space.

UK Used Auto Marketplace Cazoo Acquires Imperial Car Supermarket. One of the largest independent used car retailers in the U.K has been acquired by Cazoo. After the acquisition, Cazoo’s plethora of storage networks, distribution channels, and after sales collection hubs will help accelerate the growth of Imperial Car Supermarket. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Company Building 🛠️

How to set up a KPI Dashboard for your Pre-seed and Seed Stage Startup. It’s interesting to see the varying levels of transparency in our portfolio. For the record, we err on the side of more transparency and at the very least, suggest some kind of a KPI dashboard to ensure everyone’s on the same page and marching to the beat of the same drum. 

16 Questions for Selling in COVID-19. A practical approach to sales in the current environment from the a16z team. There’s a lot of great perspective here - it’s worth the read rather than a summary. So we won’t do the latter =)

Invest Like the Best: Charlie Songhurst – Lessons from Investing in 483 Companies. Songhurst, the former head of strategy at Microsoft and a prolific investor shares lessons from his career. We particularly enjoyed his thoughts on startup features, why founders are unique people, and how successful founders win candidates.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

SDR at Plus One Robotics in San Antonio, TX.

Talent Acquisition Partner at Stord in Atlanta, GA.

Lead Data Engineer at sennder in Berlin, Germany.

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.