Top Takeaways & News Coverage from Curbivore '23
Curbs managed, groceries delivered, mobility shared and vehicles charged...
Last Friday was truly an amazing day for the curb, as anyone who joined us in DTLA can attest. For those of you who couldn’t make it in person, fear not - we’ve got some great event coverage that really highlights the top themes from Curbivore ‘23, as well as in-depth write-ups of all the exciting news that was announced from our stage.
Capturing the overall excitement of the event, KTLA’s Rich DeMuro writes that “Curbivore puts gig economy tech on display” with an accompanying snappy video of the day’s most interesting electronics. Over at Rev, Editor Jason Tanz calls the conference a “pandemic-inspired, civic-minded, robot-pizza-fueled vision of the future” while CitiesFirst’s Scott Shepard writes that “Curbivore Brings the Latest in Curb & Mobility Tech to Los Angeles” and The Rideshare Guy’s Sergio Avedian looks at the event from the transportation technology and workforce angle.
Zooming into specifics, Restaurant Dive dug into the details shared by Kitchen United’s executives on how a focus on prime real estate (like supermarkets) combined with top partners (like Sweetfin) and the use of a robot or two is their business differentiator.
Curbivore’s partners also made some huge announcements from our stage! Uber Eats announced new grocery features that look to take a bite out of Instacart (Techcrunch.) Curbside charging startup itselectric’s innovative infrastructure led them to close a $2.2 million pre-seed round (CleanTechnica.) Blue Systems released a new product - Smart Patrol - to clean up urban shared mobility programs; Automotus released a survey showing how congested urban curbs are bedeviling delivery workers; and Conjure and Mars teamed, screamed for ice cream (OttOmate.)
What’s next for the curb?
If you haven’t already, please take our post-conference survey; we want to hear from every last one of you!
Then, keep your eyes peeled next week for recordings of the panels, speeches and fireside chats from Friday’s festivities.
Most importantly, as we wind down from Curbivore ‘23, there’s still plenty of ways we can work together to advance commerce on the curb:
Planning for next year’s event is already in the works - you can lock in the 2023 rate if you’re ready to commit ahead of the curve.
With our recurring happy hours and webinar series - there are all sorts of ways your brand can connect with industry leaders every month of the year.
We offer consulting and advisory services for companies in the mobility and delivery industries. Having worked with everything from pre-revenue startups to Fortune 500 global brands - if you need marketing, communications, strategy, or go-to-market services - we can deliver.
Interested in learning more, or just want to talk shop? Reach out.
HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
Are cities finally rethinking parking? Shoupistas rejoice - The Gray Lady has wised up to a trend that’s now undeniably altering the very asphalt under our feet: from Carmel, CA to Buffalo NY - municipalities large and small are realizing how many resources are wasted by maintaining huge parking minimums.
Double the trouble? Bundling delivery orders is a good way to improve efficiency and margins, while cutting down on traffic. But forcing it on merchants can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if consumers don’t fully comprehend what they’re opting in to. DoorDash is now making bundled orders mandatory for all restaurants on the platform, causing some merchants to grumble that colder food will mean chillier customers.
Curb management comes to The Big O: Our friends at Automotus are on a roll, with their curb management tech launching this week in Nebraska’s biggest city, starting in the downtown and Old Market neighborhoods. Given how many of Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiaries touch on transportation (GEICO, NetJets, BNSF, Pilot Travel Centers, arguably even Dairy Queen…) we wonder if the “Oracle of Omaha” will take notice?
Maybe we shouldn’t let auto execs design cities… There’s nothing new about the concept of a company town (think Pullman, IL or Hershey, PA); nor is it novel to see a tech billionaire dream up a “city of the future” (remember when Wonder / Jet.com’s Marc Lore’s Telosa was doing the media rounds?) So that makes the vision sketched out by Elon Musk for a new town in Texas feel particularly… anemic? Goodbye technofuturism, hello traditional culdesac suburbanism. “Boring Boulevard” sounds about right!
E-bikes, e-yikes! Is the electric bicycle boom getting too hot to handle? As ebike sales have surged, so too have reports about electrical fires, usually caused by cut-rate battery components. Increased regulatory oversight or bans on substandard parts would be the simple answer - but given how low cost brands have proven to be an economic lifeline for low income delivery workers, anything that raises the cost of these vehicles needs to be looked at through an equity lens.
Your IPO has arrived: Instacart has kicked the can on its IPO a few times, as both the market at large and its own internal metrics hit a few stumbling blocks over the last year or so. But now the grocery delivery company is reporting a 39% surge in sales, and its public listing looks to finally be imminent.
Did you miss the ol’ link roundups? Another mobility SPAC goes splat. Faraday Future down to its last few million bucks. LA tripping over its own procurement issues as it looks to add bus shelters. A review of the actual curbs that abutted Curbivore ‘23. For those that loved the Asian noodles that Wynn’s Kitchen gave away at Curbivore - make your own with her recipes (and save 30% with code CURB30.)
See you (in your inbox) next week!
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew