The ever-vigilant CBI Cruncher has unearthed another SEC filing for a stealthy company, with Tesla’s CTO JB Straubel and Andrew Stevenson of Special Projects listed as officers for a corporation named Redwood Materials (based in Redwood City, CA).
The document shows that Redwood has $2M in equity from a single undisclosed investor, dated April 17, 2017. We also uncovered a sparse website linked to the company, describing the initiative as targeting the entire materials lifecycle, leveraging “advanced technology and process development for materials recycling, remanufacturing, and reuse.”
Neither the filing nor Redwood’s website show any explicit link to Tesla, but upon further sleuthing we found that Stevenson highlighted “re-thinking the materials supply chain” as a target innovation area for Tesla during a March 2017 keynote.
Regardless of whether Redwood is directly linked to Tesla or not, materials efficiencies and innovation will be vital as the EV maker looks to dramatically ramp its production volume. (See also the ongoing drama at the company’s Grohmann Engineering automated production unit.)
CTO JB Straubel has spoken previously about the superior economics of battery recycling over vehicle-to-grid storage battery reuse concepts that Nissan, Daimler, and others have explored. If Tesla’s sales growth matches its expectations, the volume of used batteries will swell in tandem over the coming decade.
Didi and Lyft’s jumps are obviously juxtaposed against Ola’s recent downround, though Ola’s valuation has ticked back up from $3B to $3.5B after raising an additional $104M. Uber has not raised any significant rounds of late, but we’ll be watching closely to gauge the impact of the company’s recent cultural issues, lawsuits, and executive departures.
Not pictured but worth noting is Go-Jek, whose valuation hit $3B this week (although fully $1.2B of that post-money figure was from its new financing).
Looking at top names in delivery and logistics shows the recent turbulence in the field, with Postmates’ flat Series E and a number of downrounds and recapitalizations as investors and startups alike grapple with the economics of the space.