See you tonight in Seattle / Santa Monica
See you tonight in Seattle / Santa Monica
This is a big evening for the Curbivore community! Starting at 4:30 PM, our friends at the Open Mobility Foundation and the Urban Freight Lab are hosting a community happy hour at The Victor Tavern at 2+U in beautiful downtown Seattle. It's not too late to RSVP.
Then, down in Santa Monica, we've got our Mobility / Last Mile Delivery Happy Hour, kicking off at 6:00 PM. These festivities are part of LA Tech Week, and are brought to you by our friends at Aero X Ventures, Fetcha, and Thirst Trap Cocktails. We're expecting to hit capacity on this event, so we strongly recommend you show up promptly to beat the crowds!
HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
IRA Passes! We're sure you've heard the news at this point, but it's worth celebrating the Democrats accomplishment in passing the Inflation Reduction Act. While no panacea, it is expected to decrease GHG emissions by 40 percent in 8 years, compared to 2005 levels. Although much of the progress comes from pushing Americans into EVs, the framework also gives states significant ammunition to advance even greener options like transit and bicycling. With any luck more states will also be emboldened to push legislation like California's, which seeks to offer tax credits to folks who don't own cars. Also worth noting in the bill is the investment in health care, especially in marginalized communities, which should be a big help to the legions of under-appreciated gig workers out there.
For sale - one super app - barely used: Shenzhen-based Tencent is offloading its $24 billion stake in Meituan, as China's regulatory crackdown on tech giants continues. While many media outlets are covering the development as if Meituan is a mere "food delivery app" - its scale can be hard to appreciate for Western audiences. Think of it as a super app - allowing consumers to do everything from buying groceries in its own physical stores to booking scooter rides from its industry-leading Mobike division. Watch this video to get up to speed.
Which way, Gopuff? With many delivery networks, it can be hard to tell if operationally they're like a mobility and logistics business, or more akin to a food and beverage conglomerate. Gopuff's newest executive hire, former Panera Bread CFO Ted Stedem, points to the latter.
RTO falters... For all the hype about tech companies forcing workers to return to office, the data is pointing in the opposite direction; a whopping 50 % of workers are now only in-office one day per week. While that's bad news for downtown lunch spots, their loss should mean gains for suburban restaurants with smart delivery options.
White guy fails upwards! The urban housing crisis is so bad that investors are willing to give $350 million to... (checks notes) the founder of WeWork. Many are pointing out the apparent hypocrisy of this round being led by Marc Andreessen, who recently made the news for NIMBYing an apartment building in his wealthy enclave of Atherton. That said, he also spent years on the board of Facebook, despite not being very... social.
Speaking of Facebook... The social network has teamed up with DoorDash to deliver goods purchased online from FB Marketplace. Meanwhile, Instacart comes after DD's "DoubleDash" feature, letting shoppers bundle two deliveries into one order. And Grubhub continues to roll out partnerships for its Grubhub+ service - maybe if you're a Bank of America AND Amazon Prime customer, they'll pay YOU to get deliveries?!
Bike safety: As the always-on-point David Zipper points out, anyone that claims "bike safety only matters to affluent white people" is far off the mark. New data from NACTO shows how disproportionately people of color are killed while biking.
Turns out you CAN out-pizza the hut! Domino's leaps into pole position in the delivery wars, while Papa John's languishes in a distant third.
Yelp's cry for help... New data shows erstwhile review king Yelp going the way of Foursquare. On one hand you can blame the rise of Google Maps' reviews, but there's another important factor at play: with the ascendancy of food delivery (and alternative ordering / reservation platforms) - there's far less reason for a consumer to head to Yelp when picking something to eat or do...
Dream jobs: Roll up your sleeves as Pronto's new head of business operations. Seattle seeks curb expert. Populus beefs up its marketing and growth teams. And on the flip side of the coin... online ordering giant Olo says goodbye to employee number four, after a whopping 15 years.
City of bridging divides... Pittsburgh loves pushing the envelope when it comes to mobility. The city's latest news is less about robots or automation and more about piloting universal basic mobility in disadvantaged communities.
Sneaky links? Pandemic bike boom falters. Chicago's infamous parking privatization debacle continues to rear its ugly head, 14 years later. Amazon Air workers strike. Cashier-free grocery expands in Canada. New York City finally gets a decent bodega. Vegas gambles on AVs. Delivery Hero hones in on profitability. Uber ups UK prices. Glendale, CA state senator Laura Friedman advances a slew of curb friendly legislation. And up north, so does state senator Scott Wiener.
See you in Seattle or Santa Monica!
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew