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The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey

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Hello and welcome back to The Station, I’m host Kirsten Korosec, mature transport reporter at TechCrunch. If you’re thinking about all the future and ways people and packages go from Point A to Point B, then you ’re in the perfect place.

It felt just like Tesla dominated the news cycle again weekly. (Checks record of published articles) And yep, it sure did. There has been other freedom news however, such as Improvements in self-driving company Cruise and new rules which Uber is rolling out out Monday which will change the ride-hailing encounter for the foreseeable future.

Reach out and email me at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com to discuss ideas, criticisms, offer up opinions or tips. You may also send an immediate message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.

Shall we return to it? Vamos.

Micromobbin’

the station scooter1a

The micromobbin’ space got more busy this week since Bolt declared it would launch an electrical scooter service in more than 45 cities summer time. Bolt, a competitor to Uber at Europe and Africa, has raised more than $200 million from investors like Daimler and Didi Chuxing.

Meanwhile, Bird, Lime, Voi and Tier are allegedly in talks with local authorities from the U.K. to launch electrical scooter trials as early as next month. The U.K. originally planned to start allowing organizations to operate the next season, but that timeline was pushed up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Over in the territory of The National Park Service has proposed alterations to rules regarding e-bike use on national lands. The proposal is currently open for public comment until June 8, 2020.

The proposed regulationsthat you ought to check out here, could exclude e-bikes in the definition of motor car. Park superintendents will be the ability to start up paths and roads designated for bikes to e-bikes.

There are conditions. In the end, the authority will break with this specific superintendent, so this isn’t an e-bike free-for-all in national parks. E-bike riders will have to pedal — no throttle at places and they would still be illegal in designated wilderness areas.

PeopleForBikes, a nonprofit organization and bike advocacy group, has loads more information on the proposed rulemaking.

Such modes of transport are poised to become big winners this season. We’ve highlighted some of the companies which have seen gains because the  COVID-19 pandemic. A set of stories provide some insight into this fashion. Bloomberg focused on Specialized Bike Components Inc and The Verge failed a deep dip into the wider e-bikes sector . One snippet in The Verge article gives you some notion of the way things are shaping up for e-bike companies: Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes said its sales in April increased a whopping 297% year more than its sales to business customers from the delivery sector also rose 191 percent from March to April this year.

It’s not prosper times for everybody. The Verge reported that GM killed off its very first electric bike called ARIV.

— Megan Rose Dickey along with Kirsten Korosec

Deal of the week

money the station

Deals — they’re slim, however they’re still happenin’.

It looks like just yesterday that Waymo declared it’d raised $2.25 billion — its very first outside investment — in a round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company. Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation along with its parent firm Alphabet also participated.

However, what’s this? A mere two weeks after Waymo is backagain. The autonomous automobile company said it has added another $750 million into the round, bringing the total size of the financing for $3 billion. The expansion comes in new investors, such as those managed by T. Rowe Price, Perry Creek Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company and many others. Side note: T. Rowe Price is also a major backer of rival Cruise.

Other deals:

Uber approached Grubhub in February using an all-stock takeover deal and the companies are in discussions since then, based on the WSJ, that broke the story. Grubhub suggested Uber pay 2.15 of its shares for every Grubhub share. Uber didn now and sting discussions are geared toward a lower cost.

TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm unpacks the bargain in terms of its price and explains why Uber has to pay in stock, how big a combined Uber Eats/Grubhub entity would be in comparison to its competition and adjusted EBITDA helps us understand exactly how this acquisition could give Uber’s bottom line a shot in the arm.

A Grubhub-Uber tie-up would remake the food delivery landscape

Intel announced its latest tranche of bargains: $132 million spent in 11 startups. The deals talk to some of the company’s strategic priorities currently and covers artificial intelligence, autonomous computing and processor layout.

DispatchTrack, that created a platform to get last-mile deliveries to assist companies mimic Amazon-like experiences by planning and monitoring deliveries more easily, has shut up a $144 million investment out of a single investor. This is the firm ’s first-ever funding after scaling up as a bootstrapped startup to encourage more than 60 million deliveries each year.

VanMoof, the Dutch e-bike startup which launched in 2009, raised $13.5 million out of London VC Balderton Capital along with SINBON Electronics, the Taiwan-based electronics maker that’s its bicycle assembly partner.

Haulin’

the station semi truck

In the event the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how complex and sensitive that our distribution chain is. Startups moving after this business, if it’s in subcategories such as cargo, autonomous automation or robots, might get a more welcoming investor neighborhood.

I’ll be rounding up information and advice in this category whenever there is information to discuss. There really was, this week.

The United States Postal Service pushed back the deadline for official bids to generate its next-generation mail truck due to COVID-19, Trucks.com reported.

Curri, an on-demand building materials delivery service supplied by Matt Lafferty and Brian Gonzalez, has began to offer its solutions in all 50 states. The company, that graduated from Y Combinator’s demo day about a year ago, says its service saves customers about half the price of having an in-house fleet for delivery.

Freight mobility firm Einride struck a partnership with Oatly that will assist the plant-based oat beverage firm transition into electric delivery trucks. The partnership will kick off at Sweden, where both companies are established.

Layoffs and people news

Cruise car in Hayes Valley, San Francisco

Cruise auto in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

When I believe Advances are slowing, my way is headed by the next round of tips or announcements about cuts. Amid globalization and the furloughs, there has also been some executive reshuffling.

This week cuts stood outside at Cruise and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s decision to set paint operations’ thoughts at the firm ’s factory in Fremont, California.

Let’s dig in.

On precisely the exact same afternoon which Musk defied local regulations and said he would reopen Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, ” the CEO set a new man in charge of manufacturing .

Musk called Richard Miller, who had been director of paint operations at Tesla, to direct production at the factory, based on an email sent to workers and seen by TechCrunch. It seems that Miller replaces Jatinder Dhillon, that had been the firm ’s production director. CNBC had reported in March that Dhillon had left the company, but his LinkedIn profile still shows he is at the company and at precisely the same function.

The email reads,” “Due to outstanding performance as thoughts of paint operations in Fremont, Richard Miller is promoted to head of Fremont Production. Congratulations! ”

The timing of this, and that he chose, things here and suggests that the reopening is chaotic and cluttered than Musk or even Tesla would want folks to think.

Meanwhile, I received my hands on the memo supplied from Cruise CEO Dan Ammann that informed employees of realignment and cuts of resources. (Bloomberg has been the first to report the cuts.)

The company said that it s cutting at nearly 8% of its workforce to reduce costs. The layoffs will affect workers in Cruise’s product, advertising and rideshare business components, according to the memo.

The official statement may rub those who were let go the incorrect way. It reads: “In this time of great change, we’re so fortunate to have a crystal clear mission and billions from the bank. The actions now, we took represent us doubling down on engineering ability and our engineering work. ”

The cuts are notable. But is the decision by the company to shut its Pasadena office, which placed its lidar team. Cruise acquired that a lidar startup located in Pasadena called Strobe. According to one origin and the memo, the lidar staff is being drilled to its San Francisco operations.

Other moves:

Zomato, an India-headquartered food delivery startup, reduce 13% of its workforce and reduced pay for remaining workers.  The company didn’t reveal the specific number of people it had been letting go, however, the number is over 500.

Fair, the car subscription startup supported by hundreds of millions of bucks from SoftBank and many others, has a new CEO. The company declared that Bradley Stewart, that was CEO of aviation startup XOJet out of 2013 to 2018 (when it had been acquired by Vista Global), will now lead the company. Stewart affirmed in an interview that Fair is working on raising the next round of funding that will include both debt and equity to push ahead on its business now focused squarely on automobile subscriptions for consumers.

Moto moto

Harley Davidson Livewire static 1

As Harley-Davidson rounds year one on its electrical introduction, we’re still riding in the fog on how to evaluate the firm ’s EV pivot, based on TechCrunch reporter Jake Bright.

The American symbol of petrol, chrome and steel released its first production electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, at September 2019, however nevertheless hasn’t provided sales statistics. Rather than posting another line for EV purchases in its 2019 and 2020 financial reporting, Harley folded LiveWire units sold into its “Cruiser” sales stats, which include some 16 different bicycle models.

HD’s electrical introduction received mostly positive reviews from motorcycle stalwarts, but without sales information it’s difficult to rate the firm ’s change to electrical.
The LiveWire is likely to direct a of EVs planned by Harley-Davidson — spanning bicycles motorcycles and scooters.

The company saw a decrease in sales and continued losses in its first quarter financials, however, “stays committed to advancing our efforts from electrical,” HD’s new CEO, Jochen Zeitz, said.

Another component to grading Harley Davidson’s foray into electrical is visiting the follow on products into the 29K LiveWire, that has been priced too large for the millennial market.
“The provider should launch EV-specific sales data and inform us exactly what ’s next in its voltage-powered lineup,” ” Bright wrote in this attribute on Harley Davidson’s electrical ambitions as well as the e-motorcycle market.

Notable reads along with other tidbits

This ’s.

Needless to Say, I’ll kick this off this must-read list using a poll we conducted with seven enterprise capitalists, such as Ernestine Fu of all Alsop Louie Partners, Stonly Baptiste & Shaun Abrahamson in Urban.us, Rob Coneybeer with Shasta Ventures, Shahin Farshchi of Lux Capital, Kate Schox together with Trucks VC along with Jeff Peters out of Autotech Ventures.

We requested these VCs their ideas and suggestions for startups in this COVDI-19 era.

7 top mobility VCs discuss COVID-19 strategies and tendencies

New York City celebrated its longest stretch of days with no pedestrian passing in decades, The Hill reported.

Greentech Media interviewed McDonald’s former global product director, James Wehner, about his plans to shake up EV charging in his new role as chief technology officer at Engenie, the U.K.-based charging expert.

Self-driving vehicle startup Aurora published a blog post explaining its process for rapidly converting on-road events into virtual evaluations .

Tesla plans to unveil new advanced battery technologies it has developed that may produce power sources for its EVs that last for “countless kilometers ” and may be made at low costs, Reuters reported.

Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle engineering startup supported by Ford and Volkswagen, has generated a return-to-the street playbook. The guide lays out a plan on how it can resume AV testing when maintaining its workers safe.


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