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🏢 🚙 🤖 Issue #36; top 5 predictions for 2019, how uber makes money and a new scooter startup

🏢 🚙 🤖 Issue #36; top 5 predictions for 2019, how uber makes money and a new scooter startup
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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>> Firstly, thanks to everyone who filled out the subscriber survey. Some interesting results so far! If you’ve got a minute to spare, please help improve this newsletter by clicking here
Secondly, wishing you all a very happy 2019! Let’s make this year a happy and prosperous one!
One Quick Thought
Predictions for 2019 - seeing as everyone else is at it, I thought I’d list my top five predictions for 2019. These are in no particular order:
  1. Increased focus on wellbeing - for individuals and the environment, as elements of the information revolution and public policy are having visible negative effects on both. These new product ecosystems will become fully ingrained in our day to day as products such as the Apple Watch become widespread. Individual health startups will be concentrated around mental health, reproductive health and AI-assisted diagnostics. Whilst environmental products will aide recycling and reducing Co2 emissions caused by transport and food consumption. Incumbent consumer brands of all descriptions will increasingly focus on these two tracks
  2. Emergence of a direct-to-consumer aggregator - barriers to brand+product creation continue to lower, with the internet uniquely able to cater for niche tastes, with CACs increase due to FB/GOOG pricing power. From this, a new top-level aggregator and tastemaker of DTC brands will emerge, with consumer supply and lower CACs being a driving force for brand sign-ups
  3. Scooter startups in for a bumpy ride - fierce and expensive competition amongst scooter (and bike) startups will intensify as they push up against localised regulation, seasonality and a tighter funding environment. This will be acute in Europe
  4. Constrained capital markets - Debt and equity market turmoil will continue in 2019, whilst a 2008-style clataclysm is unlikely, uncertainty will make for a cautious early stage funding environment. A redress downward in Seed and Series A pricing is likely, with companies looking to raise extended runways, at more sane valuations and act more cautiously in terms of growth and marketing spend
  5. Explosion of Future of Work - the combination of a shift to freelance+improved communication tools+talent cost arbitrage will see a host of new products and startups in this space. 2019 is not quite yet the year that new startups will be “default remote” instead of “default centralised”, but new products and attititudes will get us closer to that
Bonus prediction (‘cause who does a Top 6 list!?): Real Estate technology goes inside - much of the innovation within PropTech in the last 5+ years has been concentrated on space arbitrage (WeWork, Airbnb) and the transaction layer (Opendoor, Purplebricks, Harbor). With the emergence of spatial computing (+home / voice computing) I expect to see more breakthrough products which utilise computer assisted measurement and tracking in order to make cumbersome internal processes easier. In the first instance this will manifest itself in construction technology and “low-NPS home services” such as maintenance, repairs and renovations.
>> Would love to hear your view on these and your predictions - I will be posting these on my Twitter, so please jump in to the conversation there
Interesting Company
Chargewheel - a new entrant to the scooter-conomy™️, which is a charging-as-a-service startup which deploys vans to charge fleets of up to 800 scooters or ebikes. The vans can also power events and charge cars
Vague Scientist
🏙 Real Estate
Top 10 Real Estate Tech fundings in 2018 - some unsurprising results as the list is dominated by co-working providers, interestingly NYC based companies make up the bulk of the list
JLL Spark co-CEO’s predictions for 2019 - JLL’s Mihir Shah predicts where PropTech is going this year, he predicts an influx of talent and tenant experience apps
How Nplan solves construction tech - Nplan’s CEO Dev Amratia details how the company uses ML to quantify risk and outcomes in complex construction prjects
🛴 Mobility
The most read Wired transportation stories of 2018 - some great pieces on Elon/Tesla and the late Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch
Europe’s latest scooter startup - Dott, headed by Ofo’s ex head of Europe Maxim Romain, has just announced a €20m capital raise
Bird release numbers on Paris usage - interestingly 5% of Parisians have used a scooter and 33% of those have used scooters in conjunction with public transport
How Uber makes money - a great, long exploration by CBInsights on Uber’s two-sided marketplace business model.
Softbank invests $385m in Fair - the Californian company looks to make leasing vehicles easy. Earlier in 2018 the company bought Uber’s leasing business for $400m - Uber is currently the Vision Fund’s largest portfolio company
The Atlantic interviews the CEO of Aurora - Chris Urmson was previously CTO of Google’s self driving cars project from 2009, predating Waymo
🛍 Retail
Iris Nova (/Dirty Lemon) raises seed round - betaworks portfolio company Iris Nova, maker of the popular Dirty Lemon drinks, has just raised a $15m seed round led by Coca-Cola’s Venture unit, with an all-star cast of venture funds and celeb investors.
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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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