Category: energy

June 6, 2019 Off

Postmates taps longtime Apple engineer to boost autonomous delivery efforts

By Jill T Frey

Postmates has hired Apple veteran and author Ken Kocienda as a principal software engineer at Postmates X, the team building the food delivery company’s semi-autonomous sidewalk rover, Serve.

Kocienda, author of “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs,” spent 15 years at Apple focused on human interface design, collaborating with engineers to develop the first iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Kocienda left Apple in 2017 to focus on his book.

Now, he’s picked Postmates as his next project, citing the team’s spirit and energy as motivation for joining.

“My goal throughout my career has not been technology for the sake of opportunity, I am interested in making product experiences that people out in the world will find useful and meaningful,” Kocienda tells TechCrunch. “It’s not about the technology or just the design, it’s about the technology and design coming together.”


Postmates unveiled ServeRead the rest

May 27, 2019 Off

Arm announces its new premium CPU and GPU designs

By Jill T Frey

Arm, the company that designs the basic chip architecture for most of the world’s smartphones, today announced the launch of its next suite of designs for premium phones. It’ll be a while before you’ll see the first phones that use chips based on this design, but typically we see the first actual chips before the end of the year. With this launch, the company is announcing the Cortex-A77 CPU, the Mali-G77 GPU and a more energy efficient and powerful machine learning processor.

Given recent trends, it’s no surprise that the new Cortex-A77 doesn’t only focus on overall performance improvements, though the company’s promise of 20% IPC performance improvement over the last generation is nothing to sneer at. Thanks to a combination of hardware and software optimizations, the Cortex-A77 now promises significantly better machine learning performance, too.

Why focus on that when the company also offers a machine learning processor? Arm … Read the rest

May 18, 2019 Off

Startups Weekly: There’s an alternative to raising VC and it’s called revenue-based financing

By Jill T Frey

Revenue-based financing is on the rise, at least according to Lighter Capital, a firm that doles out entrepreneur-friendly debt capital.

What exactly is RBF you ask? It’s a relatively new form of funding for tech companies that are posting monthly recurring revenue. Here’s how Lighter Capital, which completed 500 RBF deals in 2018, explains it: “It’s an alternative funding model that mixes some aspects of debt and equity. Most RBF is technically structured as a loan. However, RBF investors’ returns are tied directly to the startup’s performance, which is more like equity.”

Source: Lighter Capital

What’s the appeal? As I said, RBFs are essentially dressed up debt rounds. Founders who opt for RBFs as opposed to venture capital deals hold on to all their equity and they don’t get stuck on the VC hamster wheel, the process in which you are forced to continually accept VC while losing more … Read the rest

May 14, 2019 Off

Innowatts raises $18 million for its energy monitoring toolkit for utilities

By Jill T Frey

Innowatts, an automated toolkit for energy monitoring and management targeting utilities, has raised $18.2 million in a new round of funding from investors led by Energy Impact Partners .

Previous investors Shell Ventures, Iberdrola and Energy and Environment Investment participated along with another new investor, Evergy Ventures.

As utilities respond to new, renewable power coming online and adapt to the challenges presented by natural disasters and intermittent energy sources stressing old power grid assets, they are increasingly turning to new software toolkits to adapt.

Innowatts and its software fit squarely into that category of offering.

“Competing in today’s complex and evolving marketplace requires utility companies use data and intelligence to drive business and customer value,” said Siddhartha Sachdeva, founder and chief executive of Innowatts, in a statement.

The company’s technology is used to analyze meter data from 21 million customers globally in 13 regional energy markets.

Innowatts boasts that it’s … Read the rest

May 13, 2019 Off

Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing

By Jill T Frey

In this section of my exploration into innovation in inclusive housing, I am digging into the 200+ companies impacting the key phases of developing and managing housing.

Innovations have reduced costs in the most expensive phases of the housing development and management process. I explore innovations in each of these phases, including construction, land, regulatory, financing, and operational costs.

Reducing Construction Costs

This is one of the top three challenges developers face, exacerbated by rising building material costs and labor … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Despite declines for the quarter, Tesla is bullish on its overall energy business

By Jill T Frey

Even as its solar business declined in step with its overall earnings, Tesla is bullish on the prospects for the energy side of its business over the course of the year.

The energy business is an unheralded part of Tesla — overshadowed by its headline-grabbing (and much larger) auto exploits — that chief executive Elon Musk thinks will generate an increasing share of revenue for the company over time.

Revenues from its solar power and energy storage business fell by 13 percent from the fourth quarter 2018 and 21 percent from a year ago period, down to $324.7 million from $371.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $410 million in the year ago quarter.

Solar energy deployments fell from 73 megawatts to 47 megawatts from the fourth to the first quarter, the company said. Those figures were offset by … Read the rest