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Travel & Mobility Tech Radar

Welcome

If you have been reading our newsletter, you probably know that we are all about the Travel & Mobility Tech ecosystem. We analyze the latest industry trends and introduce the hottest startups. But we also love data, even when it comes from outside our favorite tech area. Interested in our favorite random data point of the week?

It’s 11.48%

That was the average open rate for privacy-related emails in the week of May 20-26th right before the GDPR deadline of May 25th according to email delivery service SparkPost. Unsurprisingly, significantly lower than standard open rates. Who would have thought...

By the way: SparkPost delivered over five billion emails for its users during the respective week. Of those, over 100 million mentioned the word “privacy” in the subject line.

And now back to business: Supersonic commercial flights have become a super hot topic lately as a look at mainstream press coverage over the past five years exhibits clearly:

We looked at the most promising startup in this area in more detail, Boom Technology. Check out our Startup Radar!

Lennart Dobravsky
Trend & Market Research Analyst
Startup Radar

Supersonic passenger travel — ready for a comeback?

Morning appointments in London, lunch in New York and back home in Frankfurt by evening: the dream of well-heeled globetrotters and meeting-afflicted managers came to a shocking end with the Concorde disaster in 2000.

Since then, supersonic aircraft have been the subject of concept studies that are nowhere near market ready. But there has been a new spotlight lately - especially on Boom Technologies - that we do not want to withhold from you.

 Check out the full analysis
Press Radar

Our recommended must reads 

WHAT EVERYONE'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT – Want to understand all the most important tech stats and trends? Legendary venture capitalist Mary Meeker has just released the 2018 version of her famous Internet Trends report. It covers everything from mobile to commerce to the competition between tech giants. Not directly Travel & Mobility Tech focused, but still an absolute must read for everyone involved in Digital and Tech!

If you are too busy for 294 pages, here are our favorite stats. You're welcome 

 At 3.6 billion, the number of Internet users has almost surpassed half the world’s population:

 When markets reach mainstream, new growth gets harder to find — evinced by 0% new smartphone unit shipment growth in 2017:

 The average adult spends about 6 hours per day with a digital device:

 Around 60% of all payment transactions are now done digitally, with over 500 million mobile payment users in China alone:

 Worldwide E-commerce share gains continue. China at already 20% share of total retail sales (highest penetration rate among countries) and the fastest growing:

 China’s on-demand transportation (cars & bikes) trip volume growing 96% vs. last year resulting in 68% global market share (and further rising):
    Read the full report
SMART-LUGGAGE RESURRECTION – In our latest newsletter edition, we talked about several smart luggage startups shutting down business in the wake of changing airline regulations around batteries.

Raden became the second VC-backed smart luggage company to wave the white flag in May after Bluesmart, which had collected nearly $30M in estimated VC financing, announced its own shutdown at the beginning of the month.
 
Smart luggage is a tough category, but certainly not dead yet. VC investors are still interested and two new luggage startups raised significant VC investments in the last two weeks.
 
US-based ForwardX and Chinese CowaRobot are both using cameras and object-recognition software to make the luggage follow a traveler around, by their side, like a dog.
 
These two investments bring 2018 funding value in smart luggage to $46M, already topping last year’s total of $39M at midway through the year.
 Read more in SKIFT 
FUTURE AIR TRAVEL – Not a single week goes by without major news around future air travel modes. A quick recap of the latest announcements:
 
About a month ago, China’s leading online travel agency Ctrip concluded a strategic investment in Boom Supersonic. The Denver-based startup has already raised more than $55 million in disclosed VC investments (among others from Japan Airlines) to build its supersonic passenger aircraft it claims will be faster, quieter and more affordable to fly than the Concorde.
 Read more in Flightglobal 

Two weeks ago, Boeing-backed startup Zunum Aero announced to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane in 2022 to JetSuite, a small US charter airline with plans to expand a commercial operation nationally. JetBlue Airways Corp. has also invested in Zunum and JetSuite. The charter operator is also backed by Qatar Airways.
 Read a critical analysis of electric propulsion for aircaft in brandeins

Last week, Airbus announced that it is creating a division to oversee futuristic transport options such as flying taxis and on-demand helicopters in a sign that the European plane maker is going on the offensive against tech providers and startups infiltrating the market.
 Read more in Bloomberg

And last but not least, Virgin Galactic hits a supersonic milestone - its spaceship, the VSS Unity (aka SpaceShipTwo), achieved rocket-powered, supersonic flight for the second time. The rocket burned for about 31 seconds and the spaceship reached a top speed of Mach 1.9.
 Read more in Forbes
Funding Radar

Most recent venture capital deals

= Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B)

 Hellobike – a Shanghai-based bike-sharing platform raised $321M in Series E funding from Ant Financial - (Unicorn Alert as Hellobike thereby valued at >$1B).
 Read in CHINA MONEY NETWORK
 Taxify – an Estonia-based ride-sharing platform raised $150M in funding from Daimler Didi chuxing and other investors - (Unicorn Alert as Taxify thereby valued at >$1B).
 Read in Handelsblatt
Motivate – a New York City-based bike-sharing operator potentially gets bought for $250M by Lyft.
 Read in The Information
Bird – a California-based scooter-sharing platform raised $150M in Series C funding from Sequoia Capital and other investors.
 Read in Gründerszene
Proterra – a California-based manufacturer of electric busses raised $100M in later stage funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in recode
Protean Electric – a Michigan-based manufacturer of a electric in-wheel motor technology raised $40M in Series E funding from Weifu High-Technology Group and Oak Investment Partners.
 Read in BusinessWire
Superpedestrian – a Cambridge-based developer of electric bicycles raised $16.5M in Series B funding from Spark Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Charles Kim, and other investors.
 Read in Business Insider
Perfect Stay – a Paris-based B2B tour operator raised $15M in Series A funding from Felix Capital and Partech.
 Read in Les Echos
ForwardX – a Beijing-based manufacturer of self-driven suitcases raised $10M in Series A funding from CDH Investments and Eastern Bell Venture Capital.
 Read in SKIFT
Mews Systems – an Amsterdam-based hotel and hostel management software raised $6M in Series A funding from HenQ and Thayer Ventures.
 Read in PhocusWire
Roadmap – a Netherlands-based corporate travel platform raised $4.6M in Series A funding from Newion Investments and other investors.
 Read in biztechpost
Exoticca – a Barcelona-based online travel agency for luxury vacations raised $4.1M in Series A funding from K Fund.
 Read in biztechpost
Stay One Degree – a Hong Kong-based social network for luxury home rentals raised $1.5M in Seed funding from Ronald Arculli.
 Read in UK Tech News
Cabture – an Amsterdam-based provider of informational touch-screens in trains and taxis raised $40k in Accelerator funding from Startupbootcamp.
 Read in Startupbootcamp
BYHOURS – a Barcelona-based hourly hotel booking platform raised an undisclosed amount in Series B funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in El Universo
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