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The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox.

Hi and welcome back to The Station, I’m your legion Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. If you’re interested in all the future and existing practices parties and containers move from Point A to Point B, you’re in the right place.

It felt like Tesla predominated the news hertz once again this week.( Checks list of published sections) And yep, it sure did. There was other mobility word though, including layoffs at self-driving company Cruise and new powers that Uber is flattening out Monday that will change the ride-hailing experience for the foreseeable future.

Reach out and email me at kirsten.korosec @techcrunch. com to share thoughts, criticisms, offer up sentiments or tips-off. You can also send a direct sense to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.

Shall we get down to it? Vamos.


The micromobbin’ opening went more populace the coming week as Bolt announced it would propel an electric scooter service in more than 45 cities this summer. Bolt, a big competitor to Uber in Europe and Africa, has raised more than $ 200 million from investors like Daimler and Didi Chuxing.

Meanwhile, Bird, Lime, Voi and Tier are reportedly in talks with local authorities in the U.K. to propel electrical scooter ordeals as early as next month. The U.K. originally planned to start letting companies to operate next year, but that timeline has been pushed up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Over in the land of e-bikes … The National Park Service has proposed revisions to rules seeing e-bike use on federal estates. The recommendation is open for public note until June 8, 2020.

The proposed regulations, which you should check out here, would eliminate e-bikes from the definition of motor vehicle. Park janitors would have the authority to open up courses and streets designated for bicycles to e-bikes.

There are requirements. Ultimately, the authorities concerned will rest with that particular janitor, which makes this is not an e-bike free-for-all in national parks. E-bike equestrians will have to pedal — no control exclusively — in non-motorized areas and they would still be prohibited in marked wilderness areas.

PeopleForBikes, a non-profit constitution and bicycle advocacy radical, has loadings more information on the proposed rulemaking.

Speaking of e-bikes, these modes of transportation are poised to be big winners this year. We’ve highlighted some of the companies that have already seen gains since the COVID-1 9 pandemic. This week, a duet of legends offer some insight into this trend. Bloomberg focused on Specialized Bike Components Inc and The Verge did a deep dive into the broader e-bikes industry. One snippet from The Verge article gives you some feeling of how things are shaping up for e-bike fellowships: Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes said its sales in April increased a whopping 297% time over year; its marketings to business customers in the give sphere likewise rose 191% from March to April this year.

It’s not e-bike boom goes for everyone though. The Verge reported that GM killed off its first electric bike announced ARIV.

— Megan Rose Dickey and Kirsten Korosec

Deal of the week

Deals — they are slim, but they’re still happenin’.

It seems like just yesterday that Waymo announced it had raised $2.25 billion — its first external asset — in a round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company. Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and its mother company Alphabet too participated.

But what’s this? A mere 2 months later Waymo is back. The autonomous vehicle busines said it has added another $750 million to the round, fetching the total size of the financing to$ 3 billion. The expansion comes from new investors, including those managed by T. Rowe Price, Perry Creek Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company and others. Side note: T. Rowe Price is also a major benefactor of competitive Cruise.

Other agreements 😛 TAGEND

Uber approached Grubhub in February with an all-stock takeover offer and the companies have been in talks since then, according to the WSJ, which broke the story. Grubhub proposed Uber pay 2.15 of its shares for each Grubhub share. Uber didn’t bite and now discussions are aimed at a lower price.

TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm unpacks the deal in terms of its cost and explains why Uber has to pay in stock, how gigantic a combined Uber Eats/ Grubhub entity “wouldve been” compared to its rival and why adjusted EBITDA helps us understand how this acquisition could present Uber’s bottom line a shot in the arm.

A Grubhub-Uber tie-up would remake the menu bringing landscape

Intel announced its latest tranche of treats: $132 million invested in 11 startups. The agreements speak to some of the company’s most strategic priorities currently and floods artificial intelligence, autonomous compute and microchip design.

DispatchTrack, which created a stage for last-mile bringings to help companies imitation Amazon-like suffers by scheduling and tracking transmissions more easily, has closed a $144 million speculation from a single investor. This is the company’s first-ever funding after scaling up as a bootstrapped startup to support more than 60 million gives per year.

VanMoof, the Dutch e-bike startup that launched in 2009, raised $ 13.5 million from London VC Balderton Capital and SINBON Electronics, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer that is its bike assembly partner.


If the COVID-1 9 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how complex and sensitive our give order is. Startups proceeding after this sector, whether it’s in subcategories like merchandise, autonomous robots or logistics, might find a more welcoming investor community.

I’ll be rounding up word and gratuities in this category when there is news to share. This week, there was.

The United District Postal Service pushed back the deadline for official offers to make its next-generation mail truck due to COVID-1 9, Trucks.com reported.

Curri, an on-demand construction materials give busines co-founded by Matt Lafferty and Brian Gonzalez, has started to offer its services in all 50 governments. The companionship, which moved away from Y Combinator’s demo day about a year ago, says its service saves patrons roughly half the cost of deploying an in-house fleet for delivery.

Freight mobility corporation Einride struck a partnership with Oatly to help the plant-based oat drink company transition to electric delivery trucks. The partnership will kick off in the fourth quarter of 2020 in Sweden, where both companies are based.

Layoffs and parties bulletin

Cruise car in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Just when I envision layoffs are braking, another round of edicts or tips about slice foreman my nature. Amid the furloughs and layoffs, there has also been some director reshuffling.

A few layoffs and manager moves stood out this week, namely trims at Cruise and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s decision to articulated the head of paint operations in charge of all product at the company’s factory in Fremont, California.

Let’s dig in.

On the same day that Musk spurned regional regulations and said he would reopen Tesla’s mill in Fremont, California, the CEO put a new person in charge of production.

Musk specified Richard Miller, who was director of paint enterprises at Tesla, to manager production at the factory, according to an internal email sent to employees and viewed by TechCrunch. It appears that Miller ousts Jatinder Dhillon, who was the company’s manufacturing director. CNBC had reported in March that Dhillon had left the company, although his LinkedIn profile still indicates he is at the company and in the same role.

The email predicts,” Due to excellent act as head of paint activities in Fremont, Richard Miller is hereby promoted to overall head of Fremont Production. Congratulations !”

The timing of this, and who he picked, substances here and therefore seems that the reopening is more tumultuous and disorganized than Musk or Tesla would want tribes to believe.

Meanwhile, I got my hands on the memoranda sent by Cruise CEO Dan Ammann that informed staff members of pieces and realignment of resources.( Bloomberg was the first to report the reductions .)

The company said it’s chipping roughly 8% of its more than 1,800 -member workforce to reduce costs. The layoffs will affect employees in Cruise’s produce, commerce and rideshare business forces, according to the memo.

The official statement might rub those who were let go the wrong way. It speaks:” In this time of great mutate, we’re fortunate to have a crystal clear mission and billions in the bank. The actions we took today indicate us redoubling down on our engineering part and engineering aptitude .”

The trimmeds are notable. But so is the decision by the company to close its Pasadena office, which residence its lidar crew. Cruise acquired in 2017 a lidar startup based in Pasadena called Strobe. Harmonizing to the memo and one root, the lidar crew is being folded into its San Francisco operations.

Other moves 😛 TAGEND

Zomato, an India-headquartered food delivery startup, cut 13% of its workforce and abbreviated paying off remaining works. The 11 -year-old firm didn’t disclose the exact number of beings it was making get, but the amount is above 500.

Fair, the car subscription startup backed by millions of dollars from SoftBank and others, has a new CEO. The company announced that Bradley Stewart, who had been CEO of aviation startup XOJet from 2013 to 2018( when it was acquired by Vista Global ), will now lead the company. Stewart confirmed in an interview that Fair is working on raising another round of funding that will include both equity and indebtednes to push ahead on its business now focused squarely on car subscriptions for consumers.

Moto moto

As Harley-Davidson rounds year one on its electric entry, we’re still riding in the fog on how to evaluate the company’s EV pivot, according to TechCrunch reporter Jake Bright.

The American symbol of gas, chrome and sword released its first production electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, in September 2019, but still hasn’t offered marketings data. Instead of announcing a separate line for EV acquisitions in its 2019 and 2020 fiscal reporting, Harley folded LiveWire sections sold into its “Cruiser” auctions stats, that include some 16 different motorcycle models.

HD’s electrical introduction received mainly positive assess from motorcycle stalwarts, but without marketings data it’s difficult to evaluate the company’s switching to electric. The LiveWire is supposed to lead a future line-up of EVs planned by Harley-Davidson — spanning motorcycles, bicycles and scooters.

The company assured a decline in auctions and continued loss in its first part monetaries, but” remains committed to advancing our efforts in electric ,” HD’s new CEO, Jochen Zeitz, said.

Another component to pointing Harley Davidson’s foray into electric is examining the follow on concoctions to the $29 K LiveWire, which was priced too high for the millennial busines. “The busines needs to release EV-specific auctions data and tell us what’s next in its voltage-powered lineup ,” Bright wrote in this feature on Harley Davidson’s electrical ends and the e-motorcycle market.

Notable speaks and other goodies

Here’s some other material that got my attention.

Of course, I’ll kick it off this must-read list with a cross-examine we conducted with seven venture capitalists, including Ernestine Fu of Alsop Louie Partner, Stonly Baptiste& Shaun Abrahamson from Urban.us, Rob Coneybeer with Shasta Ventures, Shahin Farshchi of Lux Capital, Kate Schox with Trucks VC and Jeff Peters from Autotech Ventures.

We queried these VCs their thoughts and advice for mobility startups in this COVDI-1 9 era.

7 top mobility VCs discuss COVID-1 9 strategies and veers

New York City celebrated its longest stretch of daylights without a pedestrian fatality in decades, The Hill reported.

Greentech Media interviewed McDonald’s onetime world product administrator, James Wehner, about his plans to shake up EV charging in his new role as main engineering officer at Engenie, the U.K.-based charge specialist.

Self-driving vehicle startup Aurora exhausted a blog berth explaining its process for rapidly converting on-road phenomena into virtual evaluations.

Tesla plans to unveil brand-new advanced artillery technology it has developed that can produce power sources for its EVs which last for “millions of miles” and can be produced at low costs, Reuters reported.

Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology startup backed by Ford and Volkswagen, “ve developed” a return-to-the road playbook. The guidebook lays out a detailed plan on how it will resume AV testing while keeping its employees safe.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

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