Uber's Big News, Bolt Bolts, Trouble in Asia?
Uber's Big News, Bolt Bolts, Trouble in Asia?
A big thank you to the amazing folks that came out on Monday to join us at our inaugural San Francisco happy hour; the conversations were as fascinating as the pitchers of beer were delicious! We've actually got two more mobility meetups planned for August 18th, so fear not if you missed out on this week's fun...
1. We're taking part in #LATechWeek, putting together a great mobility & last mile delivery happy hour, along with our friends at Fetcha, Aero X Ventures, and Thirst Trap Cocktails. Register now to join us in Santa Monica.
2. Up in Seattle, our friends at Open Mobility Foundation and the Urban Freight Lab are teaming up to co-host our first Pacific Northwest happy hour. Register now to join in on the fun up there!
HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
An uber abundance of news... It was no slow news week over at Uber, where CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had an exclusive one-on-one interview with Harry about the company's biggest mistakes, and what the mobility behemoth is planning next. One thing they're clearly planning NOT to do is go after the highly competitive Indian food delivery market; the company is selling of its stakes in Zomato, two years after giving up on its own delivery service in the subcontinent. Maybe this slow retreat from food and grocery is why some analysts are saying the giant is "too slow" to compete. Or maybe the company DOES know what it's doing, as evidenced by its record quarter.
NY, NJ, NIMBY: There just must be something in the water, out in New York City and its bountiful suburbs. In the city proper, much-beloved outdoor dining sheds seem to be under attack, with constantly shifting rules and ever tightening restrictions causing some beleaguered restaurateurs to throw in the towel. Our in the Garden State, folks seem to be coming up with new reasons to hate the inventive cooked-while-delivered Wonder trucks, although perhaps the company has done itself no favors by basically claiming to be immune from all existing regulations. Maybe a new partnership with Starbucks will be enough to change people's minds, or maybe Tri-staters just hate all things new and novel...
Finally, some good news for instant delivery! Some folks may have written off the entire quick commerce industry, but Berlin's Gorillas hasn't thrown in the towel; the company - now operating in 7 countries - is set to raise a fresh $250 million, albeit at a reduced valuation.
Parlez vous employment rights? France may be known for strong labor laws, but evidently the ground is still shifting for some delivery workers. Just Eat Takeaway is now trying to transition many of its couriers to gig worker status, citing the fact that industry competitors hadn't adopted its previously more benighted approach. The company is facing turmoil in other geographies as well, including a $3.1 billion impairment charge on its Grubhub holdings, and trouble selling off its stake in LatAm's iFood.
Job alert! Do you have what it takes to tame the mean streets of LA? LADOT is looking for a new general manager to look after its busses, roads, planning processes and much more, filling the shoes recently vacated by Seleta Reynolds.
San Fran struggles... The City by the Bay is working to bring workers, shoppers and spenders back to its beleaguered CBD. Key to this is repurposing streets and storefronts for more engaging activations - a solution that's just as true in cities with less tech-tethered workforces.
YADB - Yet Another Delivery Bot! The VC market may be cooling down, but evidently not for cool looking delivery bots. Santa Monica-based Ottonomy just raised $3.3 million, with money coming from Pi Ventures, Connetic Ventures and Branded Hospitality Ventures.
Bolt's a bad neighbor... Mobility Frankenstein Bolt's dissolution has been a long time coming... their hardware never made sense, their operations were cobbled together from three minor brands, and their geographies were all over the place. It's just a damn shame that they've left cities holding the bag, seemingly giving municipalities no warning about their impending demise, and then just leaving junked hardware on the street. Isn't the "ask forgiveness later" phase of mobility supposed to be over by now? That said, anyone paying attention could see that this brand wasn't long for this world, even as far back as three years ago.
Trouble in Asia? Nearly $2 billion in cash from Tencent, Tiger Global and the public markets wasn't enough to keep China's instant delivery giant Missfresh from throwing in the towel. Meanwhile Temasek, the Singapore government's sovereign wealth fund, seems to be hurting over a slowdown in the Indian market - it had previously poured billions into logistics startup Shiprocket. Maybe the real money is in LatAm? A new report shows the Brazilian last-mile delivery market is poised for huge growth.
Hot links... Uber and Parts Town team up to quickly deliver commercial kitchen parts. Why does LA have so few bus shelters? The answer is... complicated, but makes just about every incumbent look bad. Inflation reduction act means bupkis for transit. CA street vending bill works its way through committee. Florida to pedestrians - drop dead! Cazoo hits a high note. Take a look at some hot New Orleanian parklets, no beads required. New incentives could mean more EV chargers on a street or building near you. NJ cities take an inventive but low tech approach to siting new bike lanes. New charging options arrive for West LA scooter juicers. Google Maps improves bike nav. Leaked emails show Amazon has been thinking about superfast delivery... since 2013!
See you in Santa Monica or Seattle!
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew