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Uber buys foodpanda Taiwan, Karhoo shuts down and Minnesota settles

Ride-Hailing & Taxi, Buses & DRT  🚙🚐

Karhoo goes into administration. Founded in 2014 and rescued from administration in 2017 by Renault Group’s Mobilize, Karhoo was an aggregator, connecting supply (fleets/drivers) and B2B demand, attempting to mimic the way bookings are connected - neutrally - across accommodation & flight platforms. The company struggled to reach “commercial viability” and is now being shut down by Renault. 

Lula Insurance is apparently shutting down. Founded in 2018, the company aimed to be the ‘Stripe for insurance’ and has raised $53.5M trying to do so. Lula focused on the shared mobility, trucking and logistics vertices. It is not yet clear exactly what happened, but probably has to do with rising insurance premiums in the US. 

Minnesota legislatures reached a statewide deal with Uber & Lyft, agreeing on an increase of 20%, bringing gig-drivers wage to $1.28 per mile and $0.31 per minute (down from the $1.40/$0.51 Minneapolis legislators tried to implement). This deal ends the threat of the two ride-hailing companies leaving Minneapolis, and also closes the window of opportunity for new ride-hailing players such as Wridz

Uber Shuttle to launch its US services this summer, focusing on mass gathering events (concerts, sports games) and airport shuttles. The service, which uses larger High Capacity Vehicles (HCV), from 14 to 55 seaters, has been operating in India and Egypt for 2+ years in a commuter use-case, and is now entering the US. It is essentially a fixed route bus service, which is a use-case Uber has yet to focus on. 

Grab reports Q1/24: GMV grew 18% YoY to $4.2 billion; revenue grew 24% to $653M; operating loss improved by $129M to ($75M); 2024 Adjusted EBITDA guidance raised to $250 – $270 million from $180 – $200 million previously. Breaking to vertices: 

  • Delivery: $2.7 billion GMV, $350M revenue (13% of GMV) and segment Adjusted EBITDA $42M

  • Mobility $1.54 billion GMV, $247M in revenue (16%) and segment Adjusted EBITDA $138M

Nemi expands across Spain, launching in three new villages. Taxi Butler adds payments. Egypt is looking to launch a state-owned ride-hailing app. Via publishes its UK footprint; the company operated 400+ vehicles in 32 different sites. 

Via in the UK

Car Sharing/renting 🚗

Getaround reports Q1/24: Revenue up 49% YoY to $17.2M, net loss widens by 36% to $31M. An investor presentation from May 2024 highlights: 2.1 million unique guests took 8 million trips, utilising 75K cars. The company’s strategic partnerships focus on OEMs and Uber

Turbi, Brazilian car rental, raises $8.5M, brings total funding to $112.2M. Car-sharing in Spain grew by 22.4% in the past four years. Every fifth Traficar vehicle has been destroyed or stolen. This problem persists not only in car-sharing, but also in micromobility, and has been one of the reasons operators choose to leave cities. 

Micromobility 🚲🛴

Lime introduces seated e-scooters in Atlanta. There is a social function in serving the older and less abled populations, but the real question with seated scooters is whether it can bring more women into micromobility. Bolt invests in Spain. 

Delivery 🍽🧺

Uber buys foodpanda Taiwan off Delivery Hero for $950M in cash. Note that (1) Taiwan wasn’t a part of the territories negotiated back in 2023 with Grab; that (2) this acquisition creates a 90%+ market share monopoly in the country (chart); (3) that this is a cash deal, i.e. liquidity comes into play; (4) in addition, Uber will purchase $300M in newly issued ordinary shares of Delivery Hero; and that (5) the deal still needs to pass regulatory approval. 

Zomato misses Q4 (ends March 31st) profit estimates, due mostly to rising marketing & sales expenses. The company reported a positive net profit of +$21M, 1.75 billion rupees, which is less than the 1.88 billion rupees analysts expected. Blinkit is the main growth engine for the group. 

Gopuff lays off 6% of its workforce, roughly 600 people. Gopuff to focus on ads, membership and private label for growth. 

Getir’s CEO dismissed his Chief Strategy Officer, who supported the downsizing of international activities, in an internal power struggle. Per Bloomberg, the downsizing was demanded by Mubadala, the main investor in Getir. Also - Getir has signed a confidentiality agreement with the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF), which could mean a new investment. 

Autonomous & remote-driving 🤖℡

Cruise continues. The company started testing its autonomous vehicles in Phoenix, 7.5 months after stopping all operations due to the October 2nd accident. It makes sense for Cruise to initiate in Phoenix, (1) it is an “easy” city to navigate in which Cruise has past experience with; (2) there needs to be some capability-proving before going back to San Francisco, where the company HQ is. I suspect it won’t be long before Cruise initiates meaningful operations. And in related news, the women run over by Cruise settled for a sum of between $8 to $12 million. 

A Verge read on US regulators increasing efforts to oversee AV safety. Multiple companies - Tesla, Ford, Waymo, Cruise, and Zoox - are all under investigation for their vehicles' involvements in accidents and other safety events. For example, Zoox is currently under investigation for two accidents involving motorcycles and Waymo is under investigation for 22 incidents. 

Overland AI and Potential are two startups which recently raised to develop off-road autonomous technology. They aren’t the only ones, with the industry focusing on logistics, industrial, mining and military use cases. A Techcrunch read looks at both. 

Renault Group is working with WeRide on L4 AVs. The tech will be piloted at the Roland-Garros, starting late May. Renault has invested in WeRide via the Alliance Ventures VC. Gatik and Isuzu Motors partner to mass-produce fully autonomous trucks. Aptiv and Hyundai complete Motional ownership restructuring. Beep and Oxa partner in Orlando. DP World and Einride partner to deploy a 100 AV-Electric truck fleet in Dubai. Daimler Truck introduces its AV truck, planned to go into commercial operations in 2027. 

3 Tesla stories - (1) only about 2% of the Tesla owners who use FSD in the free month trial ended up buying it; this is based on data from 3,500 users. (2) A U.S. judge rejected Tesla's bid to dismiss a lawsuit accusing of misleading owners into believing that their vehicles could soon have self-driving capabilities. (3) Baidu is considering using Tesla’s Robotaxi in China. 

A commercial exercise: given that Waymo completes 50,000 rides a week, that could mean that the company generates $500,000 to $1M revenue a week; or anything from $26M to $52M a year in revenue. 

Flying cars 🚁

Archer is recruiting a local GM in the UAE. 

OEMs 🛺⚡️

Tesla started hiring back some of the supercharger team, after what seems to be a fury of layoffs on behalf of Musk. According to reports, Musk did not like his “Head of Charging” pushing back on his layoffs plans, and decided to lay off the entire team as “punishment”. 

Fisker continues to reduce prices; receives a $3.4M investment. Rivian continues layoffs, for now an additional 120 employees. 

Gig economy 💰

Massachusetts takes Uber & Lyft to trial over whether drivers are employees. 

In other news 📰

Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s founder and ex-CEO, raises $150M for a household robot startup. Not everyone is happy. Expect the company’s humanoid robots to bump into people as a feature 😀. 

People 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

Anders Bengtsson is a new Board Member @ BLOXHUB.  

Gonzalo Ramos is the new Head of Ecosystem Partnerships @ Supernal

Loriana Sardar co-founded NeoFleet Capital

Mark Robinson is the new Group Managing Director @ the Marshall Motor Group

Rebecca Kite is the new Deputy Regional Manager @ the Confederation of Passenger Transport. 

Scott Shepard is a new advisor @ Tolplan

Congrats and good luck!


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