Notable reads and other tidbits
Alex Wilhelm explored some financials about Uber and its Chinese rival Didi, which is looking to list in the U.S. The company’s IPO filing was big news, but it appears to be valued several tens of billions of dollars lower than Uber, despite the fact that it’s larger and more profitable.
Renaissance Capital calculates Didi’s midpoint valuation using a fully diluted share count at $67.5 billion, and Yahoo Finance pegged Uber at $95.2 billion. Why the large difference? Wilhelm speculates it could have something to do with Uber’s more expanded reach and different revenue streams, like its delivery business, as Didi is mostly concentrated on its Chinese mobility business.
Rimac Automobili sat down with Kirsten Korosec to share his lessons from bootstrapping his EV company during our TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 event.
We actually bootstrapped a car company. We had revenue from day one, not because we wanted to, but because there was no alternative and there was absolutely no other way for us. So most of the years in business, we are actually profitable. And that’s pretty tough.
You have these big electric car startups that have received billions of funding and so on. Hats off to them, great job. But we had to survive from the very beginning by the stuff that we were doing and making for other car companies.
GM’s newest startup investment BrightDrop boasts an ecosystem of EV hardware and logistical software products targeting fleet and delivery companies. GM has invested $800 million to convert a Canadian factory that currently builds the Chevy Equinox to build the EV600 delivery van.
Chinese EV maker NIO released its June delivery results. It delivered 8,083 units of smart electric vehicles which it says is a YOY increase of 116%. In Q2 in total it delivered nearly 22,000 vehicles, and in the first half of 2021, it delivered nearly 42,000 vehicles. Ok, NIO, we see you.
Honda will be selling its first electric SUV in North America in early 2024. The new car’s name, Prologue, is meant to signify the beginning of what the company called its “new electrified era.”
Revel, the company that started with electric moped shares and now has its hands in a lot of electric mobility pies, has officially launched its Superhub in Brooklyn. With 25 chargers all in one place and easily accessible, it’s the largest universal charging station in North America, the company says.
This week Volvo Cars detailed its strategy for electrifying its entire car lineup by 2030. It plans to work with partners like Northvolt, Google and Luminar to build out its future vehicles lineup. It also unveiled the first images of “Concept Recharge,” a concept EV that has flat floors, two interior screens and rear “suicide doors” that open from the middle of the vehicle.
Pittsburgh-based autonomous trucking company Locomotion is pitching a convoy system in which a lead driver pilots a truck and another truck, with a human passenger/backup operator, follows it autonomously. The company told TechCrunch it thinks using such a human-guided system will be the fastest and smoothest route to commercialization.
Aurora’s CEO Chris Urmson shared some thoughts on the progress the company has made on commercializing the Aurora Driver and delivering it at scale.
Data is power
Kruze Consulting, a startup CFO/accounting firm with access to the books of over 450 venture-funded startups, has shared some data with TechCrunch that shows ride-share spend is rebounding in the startup world, with Uber expanding its lead against Lyft. The study also found cost per ride is higher than 2020 averages, likely due to a scarcity of drivers.
Stockholm-based e-scooter operator Voi released a study that demonstrates how partnerships between operators and transit authorities can lead to higher public transit ridership. The study specifically details how a joint initiative with Stuttgart’s rail operator S-Bahn Stuttgart to integrate Voi and the Mobility Stuttgart app, saw at least a 35% increase in rail tickets purchased by Voi users.
Autonomous delivery company Nuro announced the appointment of James Owens as the company’s new head of Regulatory.
Anthony Gregory, former VP of ground operations at Southwest, has joined GM-owned Cruise as the new VP of market development.
Columbus, Ohio won the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in 2015. Smart City Columbus ran from 2016 until mid-June 2021, using all kinds of new tech to improve its transportation system and general mobility. What did Columbus do with its $50 million in grant money? Check out all the tech that went into the Smart City.
BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of BMW Group, has announced a new $300 million fund to further its investment in technologies that make transportation, manufacturing and supply chains more sustainable. This isn’t about core car tech. It’s about everything that goes into making the cars, from sustainable materials for car seats to decarbonizing metal.
Ford is partnering with insurance company State Farm to share vehicle data to better understand how safety features impact claims. A statement from Ford reads: “Ford’s new Vehicle Build Data product provides State Farm a comprehensive view of a vehicle’s feature content and a better understanding of how advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) impact the frequency and severity of auto claims. State Farm is also sharing claims data with Ford to help inform them on how specific vehicle features impact auto claims.”
Last mile logistics management software company Onfleet has announced its 100 millionth delivery and significant company growth.
General Motors has announced the creation of a new $25 million Climate Equity Fund for equitable climate action. This is intended as a complement to the automaker’s recently announced $35 billion investment into EV and AV technologies globally through 2025.