The Station: DoorDash snags $400M, Bolt Mobility deploys self-cleaning tech, and disappearing Jump bikes
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Hi friends and first-time books. Welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future actions parties and packages move from Point A to Point B. I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch.
Let’s get straight-from-the-shoulder to it this week.
Micromobbin’ is typically the scooting dirt of Megan Rose Dickey. This week, you’ll have to deal with me.
A few micromobility narrations got my attention this week largely because they bring up two themes that have developed in 2020: consolidation and the growing and deployment of technology aimed at solving challenges with unit financials, regulations and market share.
First up is Bird, which propelled a new standalone app called Bird Maps, in Paris and Tel Aviv. Bird Maps, which was created using navigation software from Israeli startup Trailze, will provide turn-by-turn navigation for equestrians who want to use bike or micromobility alleys for their part trip. The app is a merely a aviator for now. But it could stick around and become available in other metropolitans if it succeeds in attracting more customers and placating metropolitans the hell is sick of the chaos and sidewalk bottleneck caused by the misuse of scooters.
Speaking of scooter chaos, micromobility docking startup Swiftmile and remote-controlled scooter repositioning startup Tortoise have partnered to solve two hurting stations: sidewalk bottleneck and remaining inventions charged.
Swiftmile and Tortoise share many of the same patrons. The theory is for Tortoise’s repositioning tech to be used to direct scooters( from fellowships it has deals with) to a Swiftmile docking station. The method could hinder scooters on arteries longer and in better chassis( they tend to suffer more wear and tear when companies rely on gig craftsmen to blame the products ). It had the opportunity to naturalness strains with municipalities searching a solution to the unsightly scene of disposed scooters littering sidewalks.
One more tech-centric story worth mentioning is about Bolt Mobility, a company I’ve become more interested in because of how they’ve tweaked their business model. The startup was co-founded by Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt and is now led by Julia Steyn, who was formerly the CEO of GM’s now defunct car-sharing service Maven.
Bolt recently expanded to Japan and New York City. This week, it relaunched in Portland with Bolt One, a scooter equipped with front-facing footrests, dual brakes, 10 -inch rotations, LED flames and swappable batteries with 25 miles of range.
Two entries popped out at me. First, the company has installed NanoSeptic surfaces to its handlebars and restraint levers, the two main contact points on a scooter. NanoSeptic has self-cleaning technology that is activated by light to purge skin-deeps of germs and bacteria, the company told TechCrunch.
And in Portland, it is partnering with regional financier Timothy Robinson to run its neighbourhood functionings. Robinson will employ a neighbourhood team to rebalance, recharge and when necessary, fixing scooters to ensure availability all around the city.
Bolt Mobility tells me that partnering with a neighbourhood business owned is a new approach.” With their neighbourhood knowledge, we believe they can best dish cities and their peculiar transportation needs ,” the company told me in an email.
Finally, we turn to Jump, which Uber offloaded to Lime as one of the purposes of a complex fundraising lot. You might remember that Uber sent thousands of Jump bicycles and scooters in the U.S. to the scrap yard for recycling. The parole from several sources was that Lime would only professed unused Jump bikes.
Attention then turned to Europe and industry watchers and challengers waited to see if Jump bicycles in those marketplaces would suffer the same fate. This week, Lime closed the acquisition of Uber’s micromobility subsidiary Jump in Europe. And as we saw in the U.S. Jump bikes and scooters have disappeared from the streets of London, Paris, Brussels, Rome and other European cities.
Jump bikes and scooters are now sitting in stores, waiting for Lime to either redeploy or scum them.
Transaction of the week
COVID-1 9 might be the thread that runs through every business direction in 2020. Half way through its first year, one theme is the belief that give is worth betting on in the near and long term.
Take DoorDash, the favourite American food delivery company and my administer of the week. The company raised about $ 400 million in a Series H round at a valuation slightly under the $ 16 billion mark. The round had been expected, although it’s worth noting that the final valuation of the slew came in$ 1 billion higher than earlier reports had indicated.
DoorDash has aggressively conjured asset throughout its life, including a huge Series G in late 2019 that valued it near $13 billion. Lest you forget, the company privately filed to go public earlier this year. Those means were pushed back likely due to the COVID-1 9 pandemic and the financial misgiving that it continues to spread.
The question is then, where does DoorDash lead from here? The company is at war with the Uber Eats service, the Postmates delivery service and the Grubhub-Just Eat Takeaway hybrid. It’s also facing a law battle with San Francisco. The SF district attorney kick-started a litigation against DoorDash on June 16 over allegations that it illegally misclassified hires as independent contractors. Observations from SF DA Chesa Boudin indicates the city is ready for a protracted fight.
“I assure you this is just the first step among numerous to fight for worker safety and equal enforcement of the law ,” Boudin tweeted the coming week.
That implies capital requirements are not fading away anytime soon. Nor is the ever looming threat — or possibility, depending on where you sit — of consolidation.
We know that Uber, still smarting from its disappointed lot to buy Grubhub, is itching to expand the market share of its Eats food delivery business. Uber has stated that consolidation, in its panorama, is a path to profitability. It also said it” that doesn’t mean we are interested in doing any deal, at any price, with any player.”
DoorDash, laded with a fresh infusion of asset, could bypass private investors and a merger dally and opt for door No. 3: public groceries. Corporations like Nikola Motor and Vroom recently induced the leap despite strong fiscals in their core businesses.
Other transactions that got our courtesy …
Mapillary, the startup that has developed a street-level imagery platform that uses computer vision to automate and scale delineating, has been acquired by Facebook. Mapillary team and project will become part of Facebook’sbroader open mapping campaigns, TechCrunch’s Steve O’Hear reported. I’ve been following Mapillary because of how its programme could be used in the transportation sector, specifically in the development of autonomous vehicles. Jan Erik Solem, the founder of Mapillary is on a bit of a bun. Solem launched Mapillary in 2014 after selling his first computer imagination fellowship to Apple. You can speak more about the company in this blog post from Solem.
SuperAnnotate is an interesting little startup that launched in February. The companionship, which merely fostered$ 3 million in grain fund, developed an idol annotation platform for labeling squads and data scientists. Basically, it has created a toolkit for manual labeling, a simple communication system, recognition increase, persona status tracking, templates, dashboards and other essential tools. SuperAnnotate is one of those” pickings and shovels” corporations, a call I use to describe enterprises that are poised to utter big bucks plying tools for the autonomous vehicle industry. But this stage has applications beyond AVs and can also be used in robotics, retail, satellite imagery, protection, and medical imaging.
Splyt, a UK-based company that developed software to simplify ride hailing, promoted $19.5 million in a round led by SoftBank. Splyt has raised a total of $35 million.
Volkswagen devoted another $ 200 million into QuantumScape, a Stanford University spinout developing solid-state artilleries as the automaker gamblings on a next-generation technology that will unlock longer arrays and faster accusing times in electrical vehicles.
Israeli startup CENS, which developed nanotechnology to improve the performance of artilleries is set out in electrical vehicles, hums and solar energy storage floras, elevated $1.5 million in a round led by the UK based investor Vincent Tchenguiz at Consensus Group.
The City of Fort Worth approved a $68.9 million fiscal motivation carton for Linear Labs, a startup developing an electric motor for automobiles, scooters, robots, gale turbines and even HVAC plans. The corporation is planning to secure a 500,000 -square-foot facility for its research and production center that will manufacture electric motors. The four-year-old company was founded by Brad and Fred Hunstable, who say they have invented a lighter, most flexible electric machine. The duet came up with the motor they’ve dubbed the Hunstable Electric Turbine( HET) while working to motif a design that could shoot clean water and accommodate power for small communities in underdeveloped regions of the world.
BYD Co ., the Chinese auto giant backed by Warren Buffett, procured 800 billion yuan ($ 113 million) in a Series A+ round for its chipmaking arm, BYD Semiconductor.
GoFor Industries, a Canadian startup that developed an on-demand last-mile delivery service for the building industry, has raised C $9.8 million in seed funding.
Dumpling, a startup based in Seattle and Berkeley, Calif ., raised $ 6.5 million in Series A fund round led by Forerunner Ventures. The startup helps users propel and run independent grocery browse and bringing businesses.
Bitauto Holdings Ltd ., the Chinese car comparison website, agreed to be taken private by an investor group backed by gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings for $1.1 billion in money, per Reuters.
TriEye, an Israeli startup that’s working on a sensor engineering to help vehicle driver-assistance and self-driving arrangements realize better in good weather conditions, announced a collaboration with DENSO to evaluate its CMOS-based Short-Wave Infrared camera announced Sparrow. Porsche, which made a minority stake in TriEye last year, is also assessed the Sparrow camera.
This is more of an infrastructure play, but interesting nonetheless. ECOncrete, an Israeli startup that has developed eco-friendly concrete engineering used in the construction of breakwaters, seawalls and wharves, heightened$ 5 million in a round led by Bridges Israel. Technology investment house Goldacre also participated in the round. ECOncrete part of the company’s RElab 2020 PropTech cohort — its accelerator program.
And under the ” lol ” category …
Hertz, which filed for bankruptcy last month, halted its $500 million stock offering after the U.S. Defences and Exchange Commission told the rental company it would be considered by its controversial plan to sell shares that could soon be wiped out totally. I am appalled I tell you. Shocked.
Hertz had planned to issue a $500 million stock offering with the approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Last-place week, the court held Hertz permission to sell up to 246.8 million unissued shares( about$ 1 billion) to Jefferies LLC.
Layoffs, business interruptions and parties
Before we are going to the layoffs, it’s worth noting the end of what was supposed to be a long-term alliance between BMW and Mercedes Benz AG to develop next generation automated driving technology.
The agreement was announced precisely 11 months ago. And now, it’s kaput. The German automakers called the break up” reciprocal and sociable” and have each agreed to concentrate on their existing growing roads. Those brand-new footpaths may include working with new or current partners.
The partnership was never meant to be exclusive. But it was interesting because it wondered the increasingly common approach among gift manufacturers to form loose development agreements in an aim to share the capitally intensive production of developing, testing and validating automated driving technology.
BMW likewise announced today that it will chip 6,000 employment opportunities in an agreement reached with the German Works Council. The trimmeds, prompted by sluggish marketings caused by the COVID-1 9 pandemic, will be reportedly accomplished through early retirement , non-renewal of temporary contracts, dissolving redundant post and not filling abandoned berths, Marketwatch reported.
Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing startup is laying off about 360 beings, or slightly less than 5% of its employees. A Grab spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company will not be shutting down offices, and that this is the last organization-wide layoff the company will perform this year. Grab will sunset some” non-core programmes ,” consolidate operates and shorten team sizes. It is too reallocating more resources to its on-demand transmission verticals.
Volvo Group is cutting 4,100 white-collar places globally and about 15% of the parts is likely to be contractors, per Freight Waves.
Layoffs.fyi has launched a severance tracker. The area said that of the 500 startups with layoffs, 10 of them offered more than 8 weeks of separation wage and more than four months of extended healthcare coverage.
A little bird
We hear and understand things, but we’re not selfish. We share!
I strolled over to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and this sounded up. It is suggested that autonomous vehicle technology company Aurora has filed for a USDOT number from the FMCSA. This caught my gaze because for companies to operate commercial vehicles that haul cargo along interstates, they must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number.
It doesn’t appear that Aurora has received authorization yet, according to the filing. This should be viewed as a first step and illuminates Aurora’s previously stated intentions to develop technology for self-driving trucks.
Notable speaks and other tidbits
Lots to cover here …
Uber said it will manage an on-demand service for Marin County in the San Francisco Bay region with a Software as a Service product as one of the purposes of the ride-hailing company’s broader strategy to push into world transit.
Transportation Authority of Marin( TAM) will compensate Uber a due fee to use its management software to facilitate requesting, according and moving of its high-occupancy vehicle fleet, starting with a service that operates along the Highway 101 aisle. Marin Transit excursions will show up in the Uber app and tell consumers work and even share rides.
This is notable because the deal markings the first SaaS partnership for Uber and a likely pathway moved ahead. Remember that Uber recently offloaded its micromobility contingent Jump in a deal with Lime and has reshaped the international strategy since the COVID-1 9 pandemic. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the company’s last earnings call that the company is focused on germinating Chews, its meat delivery business, as well as public transit.
Ford will start offering a hands-free driving feature in the second half 2021, beginning with its new Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle. The hands-free feature, called Active Drive Assist, is part of a larger package of advanced move succour boasts collectively announced Ford Co-Pilot3 60 Active 2.0 Prep Package. The hands-free feature has been anticipated since the Mustang Mach-E, which has a driving monitoring system based above the steering wheel, was divulged last year.
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration introduced this week the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing, or AV TEST Initiative. Those testing automated vehicles been in a position to willingly submit information to NHTSA. The notice included nine corporations and eight states that have signed on as the first participants.
Lucid Motors will begin producing its indulgence electric vehicle for customers at its new Arizona factory in early 2021, about three months later than expected due to a slowdown is generated by COVID-1 9.
The company, which plans to unveil a creation account of the Lucid Air in an online contest planned for september 9, said building resumed several weeks ago at its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, and is on target to complete phase one this year. Lucid Engine has also restarted vehicle development work at its California facility, which was briefly delayed by shelter-in-place orders.
Lyft said that every auto, truck and SUV on its platform will be all-electric or powered by another zero-emission technology by 2030, a commitment that will require the company to coax operators to change away from gas-powered vehicles. It’s important has pointed out that after a bit of waffling, Lyft finally answered my supplementary question and confirmed that it won’t prohibit drivers on its platform from driving a gas-powered vehicle. The company told me they didn’t think that step was necessary.
The target, which Lyft plans to pursue with help from the Environmental Defense Fund and other partners, will stretch across numerou platforms. It will include the company’s autonomous vehicles, the Express Drive rental car partner program for rideshare moves, shopper rental automobiles for equestrians and personal vehicles that drivers use on the Lyft app. That personal vehicle category will be the dicey one.
MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center exhausted DriveSeg, a new open dataset intended to help accelerate autonomous driving experiment. The dataset contains pixel-level images through the lens of a ongoing driving background — earmarking researchers to identify more amorphous objects that do not ever have outfit conditions. It’s free and can be used by researchers and the academic community for non-commercial purposes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to return a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill called the Moving Forward Act. The volume of proposed bill, which Pelosi said will come forward before the July 4 recess, stanches from Democrat-led legislation currently manufacturing its method through the House that would authorize $494 million to be spent over five years on roads, aqueducts and transit curricula. It also includes $25 billion for drinking water, $100 billion for broadband, $70 billion for clean-living exertion projects, $100 billion for low income institutions, $30 billion to upgrade hospices, $100 billion in funding for public housing and $25 billion for the postal service, The Hill reported.
Motor Trend has a great piece on the experience of the Black motorist and how that has and has not progressed since the Jim Crow era.
GM released a timeline to celebrate the 100 -year anniversary of its GM Research and Development department. It’s a merriment razz down memory lane and including the 1964 Electrovair, which was developed to test the viability of electric power for passenger cars.
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