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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🎙 Check out Dynamo's podcast series, The Future of Supply Chain.
Weekly Commentary 💭
The Dynamo team had an exciting post-summer week that’s only continuing to roll full steam ahead. As you start off the week, check out the latest episode of FoSC Origins featuring my partner Barry Large on his journey from operator to investor.
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Supply Chain 📦
Ware2Go Rolls Out DIY Tools to Help With Distribution. The four tools comprise demand forecasting, warehouse network optimization, inventory level optimization, and service-level performance insights in an effort to assist with warehouse network optimization and inventory management. In maritime, Cargosmart and SSE Plan Index for Shipping Reliability and in intermodal, FreightWaves Adds Volumes, Status, Rates.
🌟RaaS: A Low Risk Path to Automation?. “In a fluid and low-margin business like e-commerce, the constant pressure to expand, get closer to the customer and scale up and down on seasonal trends can make it difficult for warehouses to accurately predict long-term needs. RaaS enables customers to reduce uncertainty and technological barriers to adoption and to deploy robots without large upfront costs.” Related, The Latest in Robotics Venture Investing and AMR Orders at 100K+.
McDonald’s Expanding Food Delivery. The McDelivery online ordering and delivery service is a partnership with GrubHub and Seamless which will expand to 500 stores in the NYC and tri-state area. In retail, Souq Launches Fulfillment Service while Walmart/Amazon Are Expected to Continue Expansion on Grocery Ambitions
Drones in the Trough of Disillusionment. The commercial UAV market has been slow to take shape due to regulation, slow to develop technology, and unclear business models. Incumbents have consolidated and looked outside of the US to build profit streams. On the regulatory front, Remote ID of UAVs Delayed Again.
Truckload Rates Expected to Rise During Holidays Per Coyote Curve. The Q3 Coyote Curve is projecting a coming inflection point, in which demand is increasing and driving spot market rates up higher, in advance of “surge” in Q4. Specifically, Coyote believes the Y/Y rate of decline for the rest of 2019 will decelerate and ultimately start to become inflationary into mid-2020. Also, 2019 Has Been the Worst Year for Trucking Operators and Railroads Expect Difficulty Through 2019.
Detention Continues to Be An Issue in Trucking. The American Transportation Research Institute, a trucking industry group, and said waits of six hours or more jumped 27.4% y/y. The total cost to the industry is $1B in lost revenues with much of that faced by female drivers who are more likely to face delays than their male counterparts. Related, the next hot job could be all about Pretending to Be a Robot in areas like teleoperation.
Chinese Funding Battery Facilities in Germany. CATL, a Chinese manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries is planning to expand into Arnstadt to manufacturer and distribute battery cells to Volvo and BMW. The CATL group has not provided local authorities with any detailed plans which is spurring some geopolitical concerns but has increased its budget for the project from $265M to $2B as demand grows. On the mainland, China Targets 60% EV Marketshare by 2035.
🌟NTSB Releases Report on 2018 Tesla Crash. It turns out a combination of human error, Autopilot design, and Tesla’s misleading explanation of ADAS contributed to the Model S crash in California. Speaking of automakers, Did Ford, Honda, BMW, VW Violate the Antitrust Code?
Meet the Porsche Taycan. Over 2,500 words on the ins/outs of this monster EV (800V battery back with range of 280 miles and 11 hours to go from 0-100% charge). For the visually-geared, The Official Global Unveiling.
Uber Evaluating Financial Products for Drivers. Alas, more support for those who believe that “all companies become fintech companies.” This effort would follow cash advances and leasing services that Uber has offered drivers in the past. Also, Uber Relaunches the Taxi Stand in Toronto.
DMVs Selling Personal Data to Third Parties. Multiple DMVs sell data on licensed and registered drivers for tens of millions of dollars a year. Mind you, DMV records are considered public but selling the data for specific purposes, like private investigators, towing, or insurance companies is supposedly considered a normal practice within the agencies. But most don’t know this and some transactions were unlawful such as data sold to unauthorized private investigators, bail bond firms, and bounty hunters.
Citibike Hit 90K Rides in A Single Day. This past Thursday, over 90K trips were taken in NYC on Citibikes as citizens acknowledge that it’s the fastest way to zip around The Big Apple. While the safety of riders is important, per usual, Deblasio is looking to over-regulate the industry via a mandate that requires helmets despite the mobility benefits it provides in the city. Do you think that America Ready for the Electric Moped?
Fundraises, M&A, Talent 💸
CNH Industrial Leads $250M Series D in Nikola. The Series D round will give the investor syndicate that includes Bosch and Hanwha about 25% ownership post-close.
Cazoo Raises An Additional €27.7M. The online used car marketplace has pre-launch funding of €60M+ from dmg ventures, Stride.VC, Octopus Ventures and Entrée Capital.
Loadsmart Raises $19M. Maersk returned to lead the round as Loadsmart plans to launch a drayage initiative to improve the flow of freight through American ports.
Saltbox Raises $3.2M for “Concrete Class”. Village Global led the round in the co-working space for founders who also need warehousing.
Zippity Raises $3M for At-Work Car Maintenance. Schooner Capital joins BP Ventures and LaunchPad Ventures in the round.
Porsche Increases Steak in Rimac. Rimac builds electric cars, bikes as well as battery systems.
K&N and Temasek Launch Reefknot Investments. The $50M fund will focus on Series A and B opportunities in artificial intelligence, digital logistics, and trade finance.
Company Building 🛠️
Scaling in Lower Cost Locations. “The move from a centralized engineering structure to a decentralized one is a process and takes time to get right. And so I think it is best to start building those capabilities long before they become necessary.”
🌟Founding Sales. A comprehensive guide to sales and sales management for founders and first-time startup leaders.
Hidden Network Effects. The supply chain inherently is a large network where overtime, products and process give way to network effects that increase the value and defensibility of a business. We’ve at times been surprised at the “sudden ramp” of things like a “slow network” or “latent network.”
Who's Hiring? 👩💻
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.