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Travel & Mobility Tech Radar

Hi *|FNAME|*

Lots of great research this week. From corporates investing in Travel & Mobility Tech 
startups, to bacteria and viruses in airport security trays.
 
Let’s get right to it. Enjoy.
 
Lennart Dobravsky
Trend & Market Research Analyst

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Trend Radar

Waymo Celebrates 10 Million Milestone

We want to refresh your memory with an insightful graph from earlier this year that put the progress by Alphabet's Waymo in the autonomous-vehicle space in context. The verdict: they were miles ahead.

In the past few months, Waymo has again doubled the number of collected miles driven in autonomous mode on public roads, now breaking the 10 million milestone.

This marks an important signal ahead of the company's first full-blown (autonomously driven) ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, expected to be launched before the end of the year. Watch the video Waymo released that features a lot of new footage of its cars operating without a human driver behind the wheel:

Waymo celebrates 10 million miles of autonomous driving
Trend Radar

Corporates' Appetite For Startups Grows

Forward-looking corporations with a focus on digital transformation increasingly invest in innovative startups. In fact, the share of dollars invested by Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) entities has been growing steadily in recent years, reaching a record-high 26% stake of all VC investment value in 2017. 
In comparison, the share of CVC in the Travel and Mobility Tech arena has long remained at significantly lower levels but most recently picked up rapidly, thereby maturing from a tentative 12% in 2012 to the (almost) industry-wide standard of 26% in 2017.

It's quite obvious that corporate investors, who usually tend to invest for strategic reasons and less because of financial incentives, reveal an ever-growing appetite for startups in the Travel and Mobility Tech context. 
We wanted to know: who are the most active corporates participating in the Travel & Mobility Tech VC space as of today?

See below the Top 10, ranked by the total number of investment deals. Unsurprisingly, many of the ranked corporates have a direct Travel & Mobility background themselves, such as JetBlue and BMW. More interestingly, however, we also see several Tech giants making the list.


The entry of the big Tech players (e.g. Google) into new markets, as they leverage their technological advantages, is nothing new. Just consider how Waymo, fully owned by Google-parent Alphabet, is disrupting the automotive space. 

Our ranking provides further evidence that today's tech giants are heavily focusing on Travel & Mobility Tech. We, as travel providers, need to prepare for more intensified (technological) competition from outside the classic travel ecosystem. 
We will dive deeper into the ins and outs of Corporate VC in future editions. Keep your eyes peeled.
Patent Radar

Ford Patent Uses Smartphone to Take Over Steering of Autonomous Car 

Ford has received a patent for an idea that will raise your eyebrows: using your smartphone to steer an autonomous vehicle. The invention allows to place a virtual steering wheel on a passenger’s mobile device, and the vehicle syncs the position of that virtual wheel with the front wheels. The driver can steer the car by using a finger to turn the wheel on the touchscreen. 

 Read more in autoblog
Web Radar

Bring Your Hand Sanitizer 

Airport security checks cost travelers a lot of nerves this past summer because of excessive waiting times, especially in Germany.
 
In fact, airports’ security lanes in Frankfurt and Munich process significantly less passengers per hour than, for instance, Amsterdam-Shiphol.
But here is even worse news. According to scientists from the University of Nottingham, airport security trays carry more cold germs than toilets.
 
The plastic trays — used at airport checkpoints around the globe and touched by millions of passengers as they drop shoes, laptops, luggage and other items into them to clear X-ray scanners — have been found to harbor a vast variety of germs, including the ones responsible for the common cold.

 Read more in
 The New York Times 
Press Radar

Our Recommended Must Reads 

AIR NEW ZEALAND PARTNERS WITH AIR-TAXI STARTUP – Air New Zealand announces its plans to bring autonomous, electric air taxis to the country. The airline is partnering with Zephyr Airworks, a flying car venture backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, to “make autonomous, electric air travel a reality”.
 Read more in Bloomberg
YOU MIGHT HAVE BOUGHT YOUR LAST CAR – Once available, autonomous driving will quickly replace car ownership through sheer economics. Self-driving electric vehicles organized into an Uber-style fleet network will be able to offer much cheaper transport, making car ownership a concept of the past.
 Read more in BBC News
KIWI CHALLENGES TRAVEL-TECH GIANTS – The fast-growing virtual interlining startup, which processed $925m in bookings last year, is currently completing an important funding round to further pursue all possible avenues of competing against the online travel giants. Its strategy is multifaceted.
 Read more in Skift
Funding Radar

Most Recent Venture Capital Deals

 = Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B)
 = Exit Alert (Startup listed at stock exchange or acquired)
 

Momenta – the Beijing-based developer of an AI-based autonomous driving technology raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Tencent, China Merchants Group, CCB International, government funds from Shanghai and Suzhou, and further investors. 

 Two Roads Hospitality – a Denver-based operator of boutique and lifestyle hotels was acquired by Hyatt Hotels for $480M.

Xiaozhu – the Beijing-based provider of a short-term house sharing platform raised $300M in funding from Yunfeng Capital, Advantech Capital, GIC Private, and further investors.

Careem – the Dubai-based provider of a ride-hailing platform raised $200M in funding from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding, Al Tayyar Group, STV, and Rakuten.

GoEuro – the Berlin-based developer of a travel planning platform raised $150M in funding from Kinnevik, Temasek Holdings, and Hillhouse Capital Group.

AllTrails – a San Francisco-based developer of an online outdoor travel database raised $75M in funding from Spectrum Equity, acquiring a majority stake in the company.

 Blue Vision Labs – a London-based developer of an augmented reality platform for cities has been acquired by Lyft for an estimated $72M.

Stay Alfred – a Washington-based operator of an online accommodation and rental platform raised $47M in funding from Nine Four Ventures. 

RoboSense – a Chinese provider of lidar sensors used in driverless cars raised $45M in funding from the Alibaba Group, Beijing Automotive Group, and SAIC Motor Corporation.

Grin – a Mexico City-based developer of electric scooters raised $45M in funding from Sinai Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, 500 Startups, and further investors.

TravelPerk – a Barcelona-based developer of an automated business travel management platform raised $44M in funding from Kinnevik, DST Global, Spark Capital, Sunstone Technology Ventures, and further investors.

BMKP – a Chinese provider of a ride-hailing platform raised $43M in funding from QJY Capital.

Tier Mobility – a Berlin-based developer of an electric scooter vehicle sharing platform raised $28.5M in funding from Northzone Ventures, Speedinvest, and Point Nine Capital.

Domio Inc. – a New York-based provider of an online home rental platform raised $12M in funding from Tribeca Venture Partners, SoftBank Capital NY, and Loric Ventures.

Cowboy – a Belgian manufacturer of electric bicycles raised $10M in funding from Tiger Global Management, Index Ventures, Hardware Club, and further private investors.

Vayavision – an Israeli developer of an autonomous driving technology platform raised $8M in funding from Viola Ventures, OurCrowd, MizMaa Ventures, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and LG Electronics.

Coord – a New York-based developer of a mobility platform offering real-time transit schedules and bike sharing availability raised $5M in funding from Alliance Ventures, Trucks Venture Capital, Urban.Us, and Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures.

Sono Motors – a Munich-based manufacturer of a battery powered electric vehicle raised $5.7M in funding from undisclosed investors.

Accion Systems – a Boston-based developer of a new satellite propulsion system raised $3M in funding from Boeing's HorizonX Ventures.

Fleetbird – a German developer of a whitelabel ride-sharing software solution was acquired by Wunder Mobility for an undisclosed amount.

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