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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.
[TechCrunch]

a16z launches Future.com
Frenemy to the press, a16z aims to offer more "optimistic" coverage of tech.
[TheWrap]
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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