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Autonomous Trucking's Long Haul 🚚

Autonomous Trucking's Long Haul 🚚
June 16, 2021

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Last week, we discussed the private companies bringing supply chain management into a new era of precision, automation, and efficiency. Today, we look at several companies vying to be an extension of that future, delivering goods far & wide with the help of premium technology in the form of self-driving cargo fleets. 

If you’re disappointed that 2021 still hasn't seen flying cars and holographic FaceTimes, just look to the journey of self-driving cars as an example of the rocky path towards revolutionary technology. The industry has spent upwards of $24BN since 2015 with no real revenue in sight. The goals of both driverless passenger vehicles and cargo fleets are primarily rooted in safety, envisioning a future in which highway and road deaths are a thing of the past. That vision, along with a promise of increased efficiency and profits for moving goods (including 24-hour driving), is enough to keep investors financing the trials and errors. Over the last year, $8.5BN was invested in the market, including a $1.35BN IPO for TuSimple’s autonomous semi-trucks.

3 Private Autonomous Transport Companies:

🚚  Embark is in private talks to raise capital through a SPAC merger. The company recently expanded its headquarters in San Francisco while maintaining it has a lower burn rate than its competitors due to its modest workforce of 140 employees.

🚚  Locomation is also considering a SPAC merger. In the debate regarding what automation means for drivers, Locomation offers a unique solution, in which two semis travel together: a lead truck, driven by a human, and a trailing truck, autonomously driven while the second driver rests. The company’s first commercial product should be available by late 2022.

🚚  Aurora was once the autonomous car unit of Uber (who has since backed out of the industry) and is led by a former Google engineer from Google's automated car project. The company has roughly 1,600 employees, a $10BN valuation, and a path to SPAC with Reid Hoffman.

Facebook hops on audio-only bandwagon

We hear the CEO is talking about the future of the creator economy.

a16z launches
Frenemy to the press, a16z aims to offer more "optimistic" coverage of tech.
Since last week, PrivCo has added:

398 Companies | 156 Funding Activities | 187 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Scalable Capital raises $180MM from Tencent Holdings 

Finance Software & Internet Services • Round E • Munich, Germany

Owl Peak Technologies raises $1.5MM 

Health Care Equipment • Seed • New York, NY

Something Borrowed raises $1.5MM from Callais Capital Management

Specialized Consumer Services • Round A • Lafayette, LA

Punchbowl raises $5MM from SG Credit Partners

Events Software & Internet Services • Equity • Framingham, MA

Gemspring acquires Transport Investments 

Freight Transportation • Acquisition • Pittsburgh, PA

Modern Campus acquires Digarc 

EdTech Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Lakeland, FL

Columbia Care LLC acquires Green Leaf Medical for $240MM

Drug & Medical Retail • Acquisition • Frederick, MD

Oaktree Capital Management acquires Primary Wave Music Publishing for $375MM

Entertainment • Acquisition • New York, NY

SS8 Networks acquires Bivio Networks 

Cyber Security Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Pleasanton, CA

Precisely acquires Winshuttle 

SaaS Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Bothell, WA

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