Hello to the weekly newsletter dedicated to all ways (today and in the future) to take people and packages from Point A to Point B and welcome back to the station. We highlight a few extra crunch items before jumping into things. This week, we published an interview with Refraction AI co-founder and CTO Matthew Johnson-Roberson as part of an ongoing series focusing on transportation founders. TechCrunch has been following autonomous delivery startups since it came out of stealth on our stage in 2019.
The refraction, which made its own vehicle to travel in bike lanes up to 15 miles per hour, is being tested in Anbar, Michigan. Now, it is expanding into Austin. Our interview with Johnson-Roberson reveals the company’s backstory, which prompted him to resign as CEO and face some of the industry’s biggest challenges. The twist with this series? We plan to find each organization in an interview a year after each of their founders published their Q&A.
Later this month, we will have an interview with Candice G., CEO and co-founder of Veer. Finally, we’ve got a fresh start from the TC sessions: The Dynamics 2021 event rec last June 20th. Amendments include video of the session.
- Mobility startups can be equitable, accessible and profitable
- Founders Ben Schippers and Evette Ellis are riding the EV sales wave
- Investors Clara Brenner, Quin Garcia and Rachel Holt on SPACs, micromobility and how COVID-19 shaped VC
- Experts from Ford, Toyota and Hyundai outline why automakers are pouring money into robotics
- How autonomous delivery startups are navigating policy, partnerships, and post-pandemic operations
Adopting autonomous technology from “labs” – well, off track – is a worthwhile endeavor to scale commercially. Not every AV developer has the success of raising money or accessing debt. Waimo does. About 15 months after the first external round brought in $2.25 billion, the company raised another $2.2 billion in foreign funding. (This round was expanded by $700 million a few months later.)
The main investors in this phase are Alphabet, Anderson Horowitz, Auto Nation, Board of Pension Planning Investment Board of Canada, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Silver Lake, existing funds and investments. Appears to be present. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Temasek. Tiger Global was a newcomer to investors. The announcement of the fund comes just months after CEO John Krafek left the company after five years in office. The position of CEO is now held jointly by Tekdra Mawakana, former COO, and Dmitry Dolgov, who joined Google’s original self-driving project and was CTO.