Deal Abstract

Robot company that wants to deploy thousands of tiny delivery robots. Currently has 50 robots in production with the city of San Jose, generating ~$280k in revenue last year. Raises questions about whether the future of delivery is Kiwibots, Amazon drones, Uber’s network of drivers or autonomous vehicles.

Interested in startup investing? Subscribe to my premium newsletter, Startup Investing, to receive exclusively weekly content, tailored for the startup investor.

The 6 Calacanis Characteristics (91 161 18)

1. A startup that is based in SVYes: Berkeley, CA (but also Medellin, Colombia)
2. Has at least 2 founders Yes: 3
3. Has product in the market Yes
4. 6 months of continuous user growth or 6 months of revenue.Yes: Revenue doubled from 2018 (136k) to 2019 (279k).
5. Notable investors?No: Don’t recognize any of the following (Berkeley Skydeck, Infinity, Prototype Capital, & TYLT Ventures)
6. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway No: Only raised $323k and burned 2.6MM in 2019 (218k monthly.) At present, only has 1.5 months of burn.

The 7 Thiel Questions (ETMPDDS)

  1. The Engineering question:
    • Uncertain: is this driving robot really 10x better than Amazon’s flying drone deliveries? Link.
  2. The Timing question
    • Uncertain: Sensors and ubitquitous Internet help the connectivity side but uncertain if it helps the hardware side.
  3. The monopoly question
    • Uncertain: If Amazon’s drones are good enough, what’s to prevent them from going AmazonGo and licensing the technology out to competitors much like Tesla open sources its battery technology to own the standard?
  4. The people question: 
    • Good: CEO and COO seem very strong.
  5. The distribution question
    • Bad: Would be great if one of them had experience with a large delivery

Want to read the whole post?

You don't have access to this post on Startup Investing for All by Muhan Zhang at the moment, but if you upgrade your account you'll be able to see the whole thing, including comments, as well as all the other posts in the archive! Subscribing only takes a few seconds and will give you immediate access.