Nice funding round – $2.25B

March 10, 2020

Nice funding round - $2.25B
It's almost Spring and...
...in case you didn't know already, the month of March was named for the Roman god of war, Mars. Traditionally, this was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter.

...and therefore we decided to go on the offensive and bombard you with some shameless self promotion.

Check out the new NPA Website that went live a few weeks ago for new services and offerings and while you are at it, give us some love on Google or Facebook ! (we very much appreciate it!)


Last month we reported that Toyota invested $394M in Joby, the air taxi startup. A couple of days ago news broke that Toyota also invested $400M in the autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai which just received approval to shuttle Fremont, CA city employees around in their driverless cars. For the full story of the $461M raise of Pony.ai go here . (Source: Venturebeat)
And if you think the Toyota investments where big, think again, Waymo , the Alphabet/Google autonomous vehicle tech company just raised their first external funding round with a whopping $2.25 "Billion" led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company.
AND NOW SOME OPERATIONS NEWS

COVID-19, it's bad and we won't bore you with it (did you know SARS ('08), MERS ('12) and COVID-19 are all part of the coronavirus family)

Most of you probably know already that global supply chains are severely impacted by chinese factory shutdowns, labor shortages due to the virus and the associated transportation challenges .

The worst is still to come as we are just reaching the point where existing inventories / in-transit supplies are being exhausted and many factories have just started production again. Apple is already announcing delays.

Startups and small companies will specifically feel the pain as their economics can't compete with big corporate. Here are a few ways how to minimize the impacts of such events:

1) Bring single source components/assemblies earlier in-country (or hack a deal with a distributor). Yes, it does add extra cost to carry more inventory but this should be a consideration when you initially source this product.

2) Schedule your shipments & quantities based on known risk factors, i.e. location of supplier, time of year, market forecasts, etc. For example, earthquakes, volcanos, hurricane/typhoon season, seasonal flooding, etc. these acts of God happen every year, this should not be a surprise.

3) Have an identified contingency plan for higher risk components so your team can quickly execute when an emergency raises its ugly head.

4) If feasible, source your supply locally. Again, often a cost impact but it should be a consideration when selecting critical components/assemblies for your product.
Don't just buy stuff, make informed purchasing decision. Contact us if you need a supply chain risk analysis or just plain procurement support.

As somewhat expected, Production (-4%) and PMI Index (-0.8%) are down and Inventories (~ -2%) are getting even leaner. The Chinese Lunar New Year and Coronavirus show a clear impact. NPAs prediction is that this will significantly increase in March and likely April as impacts of extended factory shutdowns and low inventories will show their full effect. Prices in February actually went down but we expect this to change drastically in March.
(Source: ISM)
STARTUP STUFF

This looks like awesome fun! Startupfest , July 15-17th in Montreal. Who's in?
They are giving away $1M in prizes! $100k from Angels; $100k for Women in Tech, Grandmothers' Choice and many more. Pitch, have great food, and enjoy a long weekend in Montreal. That's a no brainer!

Boston Mobility Innovation Hub Governor Baker just endorsed the potential creation of a transportation focused incubator so Startups can have a crack at solving the endless transportation issues around Boston. We love ya Charlie, let's get this off the ground! (Source: Boston Globe)

The Robot Report published the 10 Robot Startup Companies to watch in 2020 and off course it includes two Massachusetts Startups, Southie Autonomie with their no-code interface out of Mass Robotics and XACT Robotics with their medical robots in Hingham, MA. #Bostonproud
Since everyone is looking for excellent TALENT , we thought we could help. Grab 'em while they are hot!

Here is a short list of excellent talent, described below in generic functions that are interested in joining a great company to make an impact.

  • Superstar mechanical engineer, Sr./Exec level but loves to be hands on, i.e designs and if needed even fabricates. Lots of start-up experience. Interested in companies in northern MA or NH.

  • Great Mechanical / Industrial Design engineer. Electro-mechanical background in the industrial and automotive industry. Interested in Boston area companies.

  • Excellent WPI Mechanical engineering intern. Great CAD experience and interested in a summer internship in the greater MA / Boston area.

  • Super WPI Sophomore Chemist, looking for a technology or medical/pharmaceutical oriented summer internship in the greater MA / Boston area.

  • Sales/Business development professional with expertise in Saas platforms & Industrial industry with extensive Asia expertise is interested in a position in the Boston area.
Contact us if you are in need of such talent and we connect you.
NPA's Boston Hardware Startups to watch in 2020 keep increasing their growth momentum.
Boston Materials continues to expand and is moving their Bedford office to Billerica where they leased a larger ~36k sqft facility. In addition, word is out that BM is in the process to raise a $12M Series A round. (Source: BostInno).

Figur8 raised $1.5M in debt for their sports diagnostics platform to captures three-dimensional skeletal movement in conjunction with muscle output targeted to help elite athletes, trainers and training facilities. More about it here .

Formlabs announced a partnership with BEGO to further grow their Dental business unit. Earlier last month they also announced their new Tough 1500 stiff & pliable resin. See more details here and here. (Source: TCT Magazine)

Markforged r ecently received an undisclosed investment from In-Q-Tel, a non-profit focused on identifying advanced technologies for the US military. In addition, Markforged announced availability of printing pure Copper for its Metal X printer. Find out more here(Invest) (Source: B3D Printing Industry) and here(Copper) (Source: TCT Magazine).

OwlLabs published a study that showed that 34% of US workers would take a pay cut to work remote. Remote work seems a sensible approach, specifically considering the latest Corona virus concerns. Check it out here . (Source: Forbes)

RightHand Robotics keeps growing and opened a Sales and Business Development office in Frankfurt, Germany to better serve the European Market. More on the German office here . (Source: BostInno)

RIZE entered into a strategic partnership with Korea's Sindoh Co., Ltd. to collaborate and accelerate adoption of safe and sustainable 3D printing. More about this here . (Source: Businesswire)

Square Robot came out of stealth mode with a $12M Series B (lead by ARA Partners and Next47/Siemens) to further deploy their autonomous underwater vehicles in hazardous subsea environments. More on this here . (Source: AmericanInno)

Starry launched a newsletter (maybe they got inspired by us!). Find out more here.

WaveSense continues to receive much press coverage for their clever ground penetrating radar system that could help car OEMs or Tier 1s to achieve Level 4/5 autonomous driving. More details about it here . (Source: ExtremeTech)
If you have a tip , know of other great venues/companies to help startups in the New England Area, let us know .
ICYMI

A Must Have for any startup that just raised >$100M ... GIRAFFE IN LOVE Check them out .


Good news, guaranteed clean exit . Soon you don't have to worry anymore when you run out of TP. Charmin's poop bot.


How much rice you got? Cool illustration of Bezos' dough . (Source: @Humpreytalks)


Drumroll please ....and the winner of NPA's FREE SKI PASS Raffle is Steve Casa from EPE in Salem, MA. Congratulations and go Send it!


Don't forget, March 8th is International Women's Day. Let's celebrate women globally and keep fighting for truly equal rights and an end to discrimination.
U ntil next time!

Cheers,
P.S. Contact us if you you want to join our team and have strong Purchasing, ME / EE / Manufacturing engineering background or are great in general/other operational areas. Most functions are great for part-time assignments ! We'd love to talk to you.
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