New $300M auto tech fund. SoftBank eyes Uber, Zoox deals. First production-ready autonomous car.
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Uber everywhere

Hi there,

Our latest strategy teardown covers everything Uber, diving into data on the company's financing and valuation, competitive landscape, and possible moves under new management. Check it out here (clients with Expert Research access can also jump right into the full 8,000+ word report).

Several recent developments also dovetail with topics we touch on in the teardown (cue jokes about Uber having done a good job of tearing itself down so far this year). For one, details emerged yesterday around Lyft's plans for international expansion. Uber's domestic rival appears to be taking an incremental approach, beginning in Canada and moving to New Zealand and Australia should that go.

By contrast, Uber operates in nearly a hundred countries globally. We analyzed Uber's over 1,900 open job listings as of the end of August, and visualizing the geographic spread of these positions gives a good sense of the company's current priorities:

The top ex-US hiring destinations of India, Brazil, and Mexico were an exact match for SVP of business David Ritcher's list of Uber's key international bets.

Uber's expansion strategy has shifted dramatically over the last year, with the company divesting its Chinese and Russian operations to local operators in exchange for minority stakes. The moves marked a significant reversal for the pugnacious Uber and its affinity for fighting wars of attrition on multiple fronts.

New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has committed to "paying the bills" and floated an IPO target of 18-36 months. Continuing to narrow the focus of Uber's sprawling international operations would further rein in the company's losses abroad, especially as its rivals rake in larger financings that make it tough for Uber to simply outspend opponents:

Although Uber currently lists numerous open positions in Southeast Asia, the region is a potential target for Khosrowshahi to scale back. Both local rivals Grab and Go-Jek are now flush with new capital (and as mentioned above, Uber has indeed named its top 3 priorities elsewhere).

Lyft looks to be bulking up further, with Alphabet now seriously considering a $1B investment in the company (recall that Alphabet's GV venture arm was an early Uber investor). As if things weren't complicated enough, SoftBank is also said to be nearing a $10B Uber investment that would see both new and existing shares change hands, and further expand its ride-hailing portfolio:

Read on for implications of a SoftBank deal, along with lots more infographics, data, and analysis.

Sometimes, being a senior exec at a large corporation can be lonely.

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Have a great weekend everybody!


Uber strategy teardown: The giant's plans for autonomy, food delivery, and financial discipline

The $68B gorilla continues to expand globally in places like India and Brazil and is still chasing autonomous driving. See the report.
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Where major corporations like Salesforce and Nvidia are investing in AI

The venture capital arms of big corporates like Citi, Salesforce, Tencent, and NVIDIA have each made several investments in the AI space. Check out the graphic.
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(Expert Research) Nvidias of the startup world: the chipmakers to watch in AI hardware

Chipmakers are chasing the advancements made by big players like Apple and Google. See the companies.
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This Week in Auto Tech
A curated mix of recent articles on auto tech financings, exits, announcements, hirings, partnerships & perspectives.

Deals & Funds
SoftBank furthers mobility deals. SoftBank is in talks to invest in autonomous-driving unicorn Zoox, potentially valuing the company between $3B - $4B. The telecom giant is also advancing its discussions to invest $2B - $10B in Uber alongside Dragoneer, General Atlantic, and Didi. 
Axios (Zoox) / TechCrunch (Uber)

Alphabet eyes Lyft funding. The potential financing of roughly $1B is said to be driven by top executives like CEO Larry Page.

Samsung's $300M fund. The Korean conglomerate announced a new fund dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles, putting $90M into TTTech. It has also established a dedicated autonomy and ADAS business unit with the now-acquired Harman.

StoreDot grabs $60M. Daimler led the round into the Israeli quick-charging battery company.

CHJ Automotive lands $95.75M. LEO Group, Source Code Capital, and Plum Ventures invested in the electric car e-commerce and maintenance company.
CB Insights

Get My Parking raises $3M. IAN Fund, BEENEXT, Indian Angel Network participated in the round for the Indian smart parking company.

Zify picks up $120K. Techstars financed the Indian ride-share company. 
CB Insights

Sontra raises $4.35M. Redpoint and Valor Capital financed the Brazilian trucking broker company. 
CB Insights

Virtuo gets $8.9M. Balderton Capital invested in the French mobile app-based car rental service.
CB Insights

Volvo acquires Luxe assets. The automaker will pick up the startup’s platform, technology, key staff and other assets.

China to end fossil fuels. The world's largest auto market is expected to announce a date by which automakers must end sales of fossil fuel-powered cars.

American manufacturing. Great Wall Chairman Wei Jianjun announced at Frankfurt plans for 3 Chinese automakers to jointly build a manufacturing plant in the US. 

Lyft's international ambitions. The company is to be prepping for a Canada launch as soon as the end of this year. 

Electrifying Volkswagen. VW announced plans to electrify its 300 vehicle models by 2030, investing up to $84B. 
The Verge

Other OEMs target 2022. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance plans to launch 12 ZEVs and a robotaxi service by 2022. Daimler also said its Mercedes-Benz brand would offer EV versions of all its models by 2022.
CNBC (Renault-Nissan-Mitsu) / Reuters (MB)

Tesla Autopilot faulted. The US National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that Tesla's Autopilot system was a contributing factor in the 2016 fatal crash, with final conclusions coming on Tuesday. The EV company pushed over-the-air updates to vehicles in Florida to extend vehicles' range to escape Hurricane Irma. Tesla's semi-truck will be unveiled on Oct. 26th. 
Bloomberg (crash) / TechCrunch (Irma) / The Verge (semi-truck)

Cruise's first autonomous car. GM-Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt announced that its first autonomous car design is production ready. Vehicles will be integrated into Cruise's employee-only ride-hailing service.

Uber AVs, trial. Uber-Waymo trial to proceed after the ride-hailing company lost an appeal for arbitration. Former Oculus platform lead Jon Thomason has been hired by Uber's Advanced Technologies Group to lead the software teams. The company's AVs have now driven a million miles in autonomous mode.
Bloomberg (Waymo) / TechCrunch (Thomason) / Axios (AV mileage)

LeEco blacklisted. China's supreme court blacklisted 2 business units after finding the units as defaulters. 
South China Morning Post

Articles, Perspectives, & Studies
A Vision for Safety 2.0. The Department of Transportation released a new version of the policy on self-driving cars, focused on streamlining ADAS and autonomous driving features. 

Best of Frankfurt. Business Insider highlights 46 of the hottest cars from the first days of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. 
Business Insider

Automakers' futures. Waymo CEO John Krafcik opines on why Wall Street doesn't value car companies more highly, navigating mistrust among traditional OEMs, and more.
The Information / WSJ

Japan's rural elderly. Naomi Tajitsu of Reuters dives into how Japan's autonomous vehicles testing strategy is helping its rural elderly. 
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