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🏢 🚙 🤖 Issue #31: Tesla bulls, DNVB clicks-to-bricks, the future of GPS

🏢 🚙 🤖 Issue #31: Tesla bulls, DNVB clicks-to-bricks, the future of GPS
Welcome to my newsletter, where I discuss thoughts and news on the intersection of the built world and technology #retail #mobility #realestate #tech
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🛍 Retail
Physical stores, they be opening….
DNVBs going from clicks-to-bricks: JLL looks at the accelerating trend of online brands setting up physical stores. Trunk Club (acq by Nordstrom) was early to this strategy, with notable brands such as Amazon, Everlane, Warby Parker following suit.
Lime is looking to open “lifestyle” stores: The on-demand bike and scooter company is opening a store in Los Angeles. The store will serve predominantly to educate consumers on the benefits of on-demand transport, and will allow for rental and charging of scooters on-site
Amazon is opening its first European store in London: Amazon Fashion opened a store on Baker Street, Marylebone this week. The store will undoubtedly look to push data collection and Prime membership sales
Why DNVBs are moving into physical stores: CRV looks the reasons why DNVBs are moving into stores; new cohort/demo of customers, increased repeat purchase, brand visibility, etc. They also look at the playbook for opening that first location: trendy location (SoHo NYC!), interior optimised for social, limited inventory, experential and key brand messaging
…though some retail stores still be closing…
How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town: The Atlantic takes a look at how the US’ consumption capital, Manhattan, has 20% retail vacancies
🚲 Mobility
Tesla - bulls, haven’t seen the light of day in the wake of #420-gate. ARK Invest have been vocally positive around Tesla’s tech stack for some time. In this article, they examine Tesla’s vertically integrated structure as a means of long-term defensibility. This ranges from lithium-ion batteries to GPUs to software to physical charging infrastructure. ARK make a direct comparison to Apple, who enjoy arguably the deepest moat in hardware :
Citron Research goes from short to long: this week they put out a research paper, reversing their position and opinion on the company. Quite simply, their thesis states that TSLA can get to high free cash flow generation if the company continues on its current path of sales, which is obliterating the competition on like for like sales
Just in time for…..
Tesla beats Q3 earnings expectations - the stock was up 12% after hours. The company turned a profit, showed better than expected car sales and a faster timeline on Model 3 production
Tesla is a DNVB….
You can purchase a Tesla, with one-click purchasing through your mobile handset
Uber - Another busy week for the company as talk of its 2019 IPO heats up. Firstly, the company has indicated a desire to go public in H1 instead of previously stated H2 of 2019. Banks are actively tapping Uber up and proposing a potential IPO valuation of $120bn. The company also topped up it’s war chest with a $2bn debt offering. Last week the company announced it’s launching an on-demand staffing business, companies can use Uber to hire short term contractors for events and corporate functions. A not totally crazy though still orphogonal new business, likely in-part to take some of the attention away from the eye-watering ride sharing fundamentals ahead of the IPO. Quartz’s Alison Griswold wrote a great piece on Uber’s in-house economists. Ubernomics has been used not only to inform internal pricing models but also to weave a narrative about ride-sharing amongst academia and in turn influence local policy.
  • Ridesharing is still only 0.5% of VMT (Vehicle Miles Travelled) / personal vehicles are 92% of VMT
  • Households without a car are far more multi-modal:
  • “deadheading” personal vehicles add 100 billion vehicle miles per year to US roadways. Deadheading is when the vehicle is not used for its primary purpose i.e looking for a parking spot, driving to pick someone up from the airport
Waze expands its car pooling - Google owned Waze, is expanding its carpooling service to five new US states, in addition to the Bay Area and Israel. Waze is the perfect beach head to build around as Alphabet looks to get deeper into ride-sharing and AVs (Waymo)
GPS and the last-mile problem: this piece is an intro to the inner-city precision problem of the GPS network. We’re starting to now see applications become less dependant on GPS networks for positioning, such as FOAM protocol, Google Maps’ AR positioning and mesh networks
The European scooter bug - congrats to ex-betaworker Paul Murphy on Northzone’s Series A investment into Tier Mobility! The company is looking to become Europe’s dominant scooter network in a new wave of light mobility operators
🏙 Real Estate
The three defining trends in Real Estate Tech: NFX’s Pete Flint (founder of Trulia) examines areas for the largest areas for disruption in Real Estate Tech; the transaction layer, new living modes and construction.
2018 Global Real Estate Portal Report: Mike Del Prete has published his 136 page report on the current state of global real estate portals. Unsurprisingly, he dives deep into Zillow and their battle with OpenDoor
Wonderfully weird….
China’s artificial moon - Chengdu will launch an artificial moon into space by 2020, covered in reflective material designed to reflect light from the sun. Light from the moon will look to reduce the usage of electric from lights.
Thanks for reading!
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Sam Cash // Physical World Technologies Newsletter

The intersection of the physical world and technology; with a focus on future mobility,real estate, retail and cities.

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