Dynamo Dispatch (08/26/19)

Issue 74 | Voyager, Starship, Zendrive

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 💭

It’s the last week of summer! It’s a perfect week to kick back with Episode 28 of The Future of Supply Chain where we chat with our friend Justin Hall on a variety of topics including the innovator’s dilemma, RPA in logistics, and the culture of innovative teams.

Enjoy the long weekend and the last days of soaking up the summer sun.

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 📦

Maersk’s Integrator Strategy Takes Shape. It turns out in North America, Maersk’s efforts via their Accelerator offering is early proof that their integrator strategy might have legs. Via Accelerator, cargo will be delivered anywhere within a 50-mile radius of the Port of Los Angeles within 48 hours of discharge. This is accomplished by connecting APM Terminals, part of Marersk, with the carrier’s warehousing/distribution management capabilities and truck providers, which cuts average delivery times by three to five days. Also, Maersk Enters India via BlackBuck Partnership.

📊Industrial Robot Sales Up 7.2% in 1H 2019. North American companies ordered 16,488 industrial robots, valued at $869M with order growth coming primarily from the automotive sector. Speaking of data, Tonnage Rebounds 6.6% in July and ATA Expects Freight Revenues to Be $1.6T Over the Next Decade.

🌟Transfix Launches Carrier Payments Factoring at 0.99% Cost. “Transfix is continuing to build products and services to reach deeper inside of its partners’ operations so that it can find places to add value. What was a competitive differentiator five years ago, like end-to-end visibility, he said, is now “table stakes,” and it’s a constant iterative process to identify and solve pain points on both sides of the marketplace.” Elsewhere, KeepTruckin Launches Dwell Time Prediction Feature and Uber Launches Web Portal for Freight.

🐯How Animals Are Transported. An interesting and comprehensive view of the regulatory, zoological, and logistical processes of getting Baby Shark and Daniel Tiger to our aquariums and zoos.

Dominos Says No to Third Party Delivery. In a bid to better control the customer experience and related brand association, it appears major chains are less keen on partnering with the DoorDash, Postmates, etc of the world. Also, margins matter to this group who are less keen on giving a big cut to a third party, “As profit is extracted from the industry, I think we’re going to see a lot of players really struggle.”

Mobility 🚗

The Unlikely Way E-bikes Could Transform How We Age. E-bikes are helping keep seniors young and, in some instances, even alleviating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Related to micromobility, Ford’s Bid for Safer Scooters.

🌟Inside India’s Messy EV Revolution. A million electric rickshaws sprang up out of nowhere and are now being used by 60 million people a day. The government and vehicle makers are struggling to catch up. Back in the US, Electrify America and EVgo Ink Partnership to make charging easier for drivers and in China, the Government is Looking to Uphold a Frothy EV Industry

NYC’s Discounted Travel Ticket is Cutting Commute Times in Half. In an effort to improve transit equality, the MTA will extend a pilot that has been discounting fares on commuter rail lines in neighborhoods that lack good subway access for travel to city business centers. Did you know, Booming Economy Has Added 12 Minutes to Commute Times?

🎧Merge Now: Jason Stinson of Renovo. Stinson discusses how self-driving car developers are professionalizing their processes and Renovo sells those teams picks and shovels in the midst of the AV gold rush.

Quantas Testing 19 Hour Flights. The “research” flights from London and New York to Sydney will  help researchers understand how it affects passengers’ health. Most of the 40 passengers will be Quantas employees fitted with devices to measure body vitals. If all goes well, a go/no go decision is to be made by year-end.

Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸

SpotHero Raises $50M Led by Macquarie Capital. The Series D funding in the on-demand parking company will be used to expand service across more cities, partnerships, and product investments.

Starship Raises $40M On the Back of 100K Deliveries. The fresh funding will help expand the service to 100 universities. Morpheus Ventures led the round.

Zendrive Raises $37M to Scale Automotive Risk Solutions. The Series B funding was led by XL Innovate, with participation by Hearst Ventures, BMW iVentures, ACME Capital, NYCA, SignalFire, and others.

Voyager Raises $1.5M Seed. Voyager provides software for bulk shipping. Investors include ATX Venture Partners, Blue Bear Capital, GreenHawk Capital, and Phaze Ventures.

DoorDash Acquires Scotty Labs. Scotty Labs, is a tele-operations company that enables people to remotely control self-driving cars. It had raised $6M seed round from Gradient Ventures, with participation from Horizon Ventures and Hemi Ventures, last March.

Porsche Invests in Trieye. TriEye is working on a sensor technology to help vehicle driver-assistance and self-driving systems see better in poor weather conditions like dust, fog and rain. The deal was an extension of the previously announced Series A.

Company Building 🛠️

Why Everyone Should Write. Everyone is full of ideas they’re not aware of and writing helps distill those ideas in a way speaking or thinking can’t.

“Angels,” Angels, and VCs. Founders should ask investors where their funds come from to understand motivations and incentives in the face of advice and behaviors they observe.

Confidence: The Currency of Acceleration. “One of the biggest mistakes of the startup community, fueled by an overcapitalized venture market and an overhyped argument about winner takes all market dynamics, is the belief that capital is a weapon that will win the startup wars.” (via Ty Findley)

Who's Hiring? 👩‍💻

Backend Engineer at Mobikit in Columbus, OH.
Business Development Manager at Stord in Atlanta, GA.
Senior Frontend Engineer at Verusen in Atlanta, GA.

Check out other jobs at Dynamo portfolio companies.

❤️ We would love your support. Please forward to friends and share on social media.
🗞️ 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.