Market Overview

Today's Pickup: May Flowers For Seattle Tech Scene

Today's Pickup: May Flowers For Seattle Tech Scene

Good Day,

Although many are surprised to hear it, Seattle has a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to its tech startup scene. As FreightWaves reported earlier this year, the anxiety stems in part from the sparse numbers of startups spinning out from local Goliaths Microsoft and Amazon. Lack of early-stage venture capital is another concern. That said, signs of change abound, with two new developments enriching the local ecosystem this month. Seattle-based Flexe, a startup that bills itself as the Airbnb of warehousing, announced a $43 million Series B round. And Madrona Venture Labs (MVL), a "startup studio" created by Seattle's powerhouse  venture capital firm, Madrona Venture Group, announced it has raised $11 million for its third fund. MVL plans to use the money to launch a dozen new artificial intelligence-focused companies.

Did you know?

More than half of logistics industry executives say they're focusing their blockchain spending on better understanding the technology. But only 21 percent said their firm was spending to actually implement blockchain. Overall, blockchain isn't a top priority for industry execs' current technology spending priorities. Less than one quarter of respondents said blockchain is a part of their firms' broader technological investments.

Source: Business Insider


"Because this is such a nascent industry, there really are no rules and regulations, or they are based on precedents of other industries. So for those who are first or second movers in the logistics space, they have an opportunity to interface with legislators and policy makers and help define the industry while it's still being developed."

Beau Whitney, a Portland-based senior economist with New Frontier Data, referring to cannabis logistics market potential (FreightWaves)


In other news

Lilium flies electric air taxi prototype

The German air taxi startup has completed a hover test of its electric aircraft. (Forbes)


Storr Raises addition $3M in pre-series A

The San Francisco-based online retail marketplace allows anyone with a mobile phone to launch a digital storefront. (Finmes)


How Rivian aims to win the electric truck race

A Q&A with Rivian CEO and founder R.J. Scaringe. (The Telegram)

Redesigning cities for the scooter era

A roundup of innovations designed to help cities better accommodate micro-mobility services. (Bloomberg)


Final thoughts,

Ours is an era of epic battles: between Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) and, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) – and California and the Trump Administration. California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols fired the latest salvo yesterday. As Bloomberg reported, Nichols responded to Trump Administration plans to roll back vehicle emission standards by threatening a wholesale ban on fossil-fuel vehicles. The state would have no choice but to implement "extreme" requirements to compensate for the increase in pollution produced by the weakening of federal standards, Nichols said.

Hammer down, everyone!

Image sourced from Pixabay


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