Dynamo Dispatch (08/24/20)

Issue 119 | Attabotics, Fetch, FarEye

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

💥 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.

Weekly Commentary 💭

As we wind down summertime, check out the latest episodes of the Future of Supply Chain. Recently, we hosted Drew McElroy of Transfix to chat about harmonizing digital and physical operations.

On the referral train, thank you to Jake Gibson, Alex Iskold, and Matt Ridley!

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 📦

📊Pandemic Impacts on Tech Innovation. Relevant new innovations as a result of the virus are focused on infection prevention, remote commerce, improving resiliency, and providing greater agility. The technological status quo faces major overhaul as our world aims to prepare for future disasters while maintaining a sense of normal innovation.

Japan, Australia, and India Seek a Supply Chain Pact. The trio is seeking to build enhanced supply chains to counter China’s dominance as tensions escalate across the region. Aside from deteriorating diplomatic relations, pandemic ramifications brought many to re-examine current supply chain practices and explore new avenues for factory diversification. Also, The Pandemic Pushes Small Suppliers to the Brink of Failure

Autonomous Ships are on the Horizon. Maritime vessels account for nearly 90% of all international trade, stamping ships the “lifeblood” of the global economy. New ships are being constructed with lidar, radar, and infrared sensors/cameras enabling almost zero human intervention in the berthing and unberthing process. With easing lockdowns and evolving trade practices, many believe the world is shifting toward autonomous ships to keep global trade moving. Also in maritime, is DP World Building A Container Line? and ATA Seeks Nearly $2B from Ocean Carriers for Alleged Chassis Overcharges.

The Impacts From a Potential USPS Slow Down. As the USPS remains top of mind for many Americans, impacts from a slowdown will be felt across the country. SMBs may face severe impact as some small shippers indicate 2-3 weeks delivery delays citing the USPS. Additionally, Postmaster Dejoy has moved to ban overtime for employees, which often helps meet volume surges. In more USPS news, Dejoy Demands Congress Remove USPS Pricing Constraints

3PL Revenue Expected to Drop for Second Straight Year. Armstrong & Associates predict the 3PL industry will record a second straight year of gross revenue declines. Gross revenues are expected to fall nearly $5B short of last year's figures, but dedicated contract carriage may be the sole bright spot in a rough year for industry players as the segment is governed by multiyear contracts and has the ability to thrive in tight truckload markets as dependable sources of capacity are sought. Related, Trailer Orders +84% Y/Y.

🌟A Statistical Breakdown of the 2020 eComm Surge. In just over two months, the UK went from 20% eComm penetration to 30%, while the US jumped from 17% to 22%. The UK spike was driven by deep and extensive lockdowns, forcing consumers to shop online. Related, eComm 3PLs Flourish while mall operator CBL Files for Chapter 11.

Lufthansa Prepares for Vaccine Deployment. New pharma facilities in Munich and Chicago help Lufthansa expand its cold chain footprint in preparation for vaccine distribution. The Munich hub has capacity for 96 pallets and loose cargo with storage available under three various temperature ranges. German peer, DHL to Add 7000 Workers for Q4 Surge across retail, life sciences, and healthcare sectors.  

Mobility 🚗

Uber and Lyft Shutdown Averted… For Now. A California appeals judge temporarily blocked an order requiring the ride sharing services to classify drivers as employees. The companies now have until October to convince the court to nullify the order. Related, Uber and Lyft Competitors Ready to Pounce if Companies Exit California

UK EV Sales Soar During Lockdowns. Despite a 97% decline in total vehicle sales during lockdown, EVs witnessed an impressive uptick. April saw EVs account for almost 32% of new vehicle registrations, even outselling diesel cars. A boost in sales can be attributed to significant tax incentives and an increased range of newer models.  Elsewhere in EVs, Love’s and Electrify America Build 28 Charging Stations Across 6 States

🌟Nio Offers Batteries-As-a-Service. Nio is enabling customers to purchase an EV without a battery and offering a subscription to one for a separate monthly fee. EV automakers are seeking to run their businesses like a tech company, but not all EVs have swappable battery packs, limiting only a few to offering BaaS. Elsewhere in China, EV Battery Swaps are Newly Approved by National Standard Authority.

Is The Urban Future Carless?. The pandemic has forced some to reimagine preferred methods of transportation, especially in urban hubs. At the end of 2019, 127 US cities structured permit programs for shared eScooters. That figure is expected to grow as cities build dedicated eBike and eScooter infrastructure, encouraging more riders to take to the streets. Speaking of carless, Four Micromobility Startups Fixing the UAE’s Last-Mile Problem and Ontario’s Push for Microtransit in Underserved Areas

The Government Grounds DJI, but Approves Five New Drones. After the US Government began banning Chinese model drones over spying fears, other US-based and international drone companies started pitching their own interactions. The DoD announced five new drones that were tested, approved, and are now available for governmental use. Manufacturers include: Skydio, Parrot, Altavian, Teal Drones, and Vantage Robotics. In the drone and AV stack, Lidar Sensor Achieve High Efficiency Using Mirrors

📊75% EV Adoption Could Save Americans $17-$70B Per Year. A study by Northwestern University focused on economic and climate benefits related to widespread EV adoption. As EVs gain popularity, the study shows just a 25% adoption could translate to nearly $17B saved on climate change and air pollution spending.  Related, Porsche’s new eMobility loyalty program and Tesla Captures 80% of the US EV Market.

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

Perishable Shipping Solutions Raises a $7M Series A Led by SJF Ventures. Perishable is an eCommerce fulfillment business focused on perishable goods. The fresh capital will aid in accelerating operations to meet the growing demand for the company’s services. 

Craft Raises $10M Led by High Alpha Capital. Craft is an intelligence platform providing enterprise solutions helping make informed business decisions. With the new capital, Craft will build out its supply chain intelligent platform, expand office operations, and build out remote teams across North America and Europe.

FarEye Raises $13M in Additional Series D Funding Led by Fundamentum Partnership. FarEye is a predictive logistics platform for businesses. New capital will help the company expand into new markets and scale operations.

Fetch Raises $18M Led by Iron Gate Capital. Fetch is an offsite package management service for multifamily apartment communities. Using the new capital, Fetch will expand into new markets, add new clients, expand with current clients, and further invest in its warehouse and delivery technology. 

Sendle Raises $19M Led by King River Capital. Sendle is an Australian-based courier service for small businesses. Funding will help expand into new Australian and US markets. 

Xos Trucks Raises $20M Led by Proeza Ventures. Xos Trucks is a commercial electric vehicle startup based in California. New funding will help the startup to ramp up production on the heels of a California zero-emissions mandate.

Weee! Raises $35M From DST Global. Weee! is an online grocery delivery platform offering Asian specialty products and everyday staples. The grocer hopes to hire new talent and expand delivery capabilities across 13-14 new cities as a result of the new capital.

Attabotics Raises a $50M Series C Led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. Attabotics is a 3D robotics supply chain system for modern e-commerce. The company will use the funding to speed up commercial deployment and invest in new technology.

Canoo Going Public via SPAC. The LA-based EV startup has struck a deal with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp to go public at a $2.4B valuation. Blackrock is also investing $300M in a PIPE (Private Investment in a Public Equity) which together with the SPAC equity should fund the production and launch of EVs built off of its underlying skateboard technology.

Amazon Names Dave Clark New Head of its Retail Business. Clark, who formerly ran Amazon’s logistics division will replace Jeff Wilkes who will retire in Q1 2021. He will operate the Worldwide Consumer unit which encompasses Amazon’s prominent retail business

Company Building 🛠️

Gartner’s 2020 Hype Cycle. Lots of talk around AI again this year. The emerging trends worth paying attention to as you look to gain the attention of F500 CIOs include composite architectures, formative AI, and algorithmic trust.

FinTech Scales Vertical SaaS. We’re seeing this trend amongst supply chain startups given capital and freight move in opposing directions so are tied at the hip. We also note a rise in business models that focus on monetizing/expanding margin on the financial leg while giving away the supply chain-centric product or feature. Many of our portfolio companies have capital products released or in the works. Ultimately, money talks!

How Figma on Hybrid Office Structure. Pay particular attention to the policy that people have to declare as part of a hub or remote. Remote staff will need to overlap with Figma working hours (so is limited to the continental US at roll out). Most interesting is that salaries will be adjusted to local norms for new hires- bucking the [misplaced] belief that salary for a given req will be flat regardless of location.

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

QA Engineer at sennder in Berlin, Germany.

Talent Acquisition Partner at Stord in Atlanta, GA.

Decision Analyst at nextmv in Philadelphia, PA (remote ok).

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.