SILVERCAR AND AUDI

Audi Leads $28M Investment In Rental Startup Silvercar

Silvercar, a startup rethinking the auto rental experience in airports, already seems pretty tied to Audi — after all, every vehicle that Silvercar rents out is a silver Audi. Now the companies are deepening that relationship with a $28 million Series C investment.

Audi led the round, with the company’s North American president Scott Keogh joining Silvercar’s board of directors. Silvercar and Audi are also looking beyond airports with a new initiative called the Audi Shared Fleet, where businesses will be able to offer cars to employees on their corporate campuses.

“Silvercar represents not just the future of the car rental industry, but a vision for the future of mobility,” Keogh said in the funding release “We want to utilize the company’s strengths in technology and innovation to merge connectivity and mobility for today’s consumer.”

Silvercar has raised a total of $60 million in funding. Previous investors Austin Ventures and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin also participated in the new round.

The service doesn’t just offer every customer access to the same high-end vehicle. It also streamlines the reservation and payment process, allowing you to make bookings through a mobile app and unlock the car by just scanning a QR code.Writer Ryan Lawler (now sadly departed from TechCrunch) tried the service out three years ago in Dallas-Fort Worth, Silvercar’s very first airport. He came away impressed with “the ease of getting in and out of the airport rental dock,” and he suggested that business travelers, in particular, might be willing to pay a premium to get a better experience. (The exact pricing varies from market to market.)

The company says its business tripled in 2015, and it’s now launching in its twelfth market, Las Vegas, just in time for this week’s Consumer Electronics Show.

FEATURED IMAGE: SILVERCAR

THE NEW MARKETS ARE THE OLD MARKETS

At this point in my Business Career I am moving more and more back into the fields of Brokerage, primary Contacts Brokering, and Consulting.

Yes, I will still engage in Business and Copy Writing, especially as regards producing my own books and works. I will also still occasionally engage in Business and Copy Writing for some clients, old and new, if the project is interesting and profitable enough.

But more and more lately I feel myself being drawn back into the worlds of Brokerage and Consulting. The same for my company, Open Door.

So my new business emphases will lean more and more heavily towards Contacts Brokerage and towards Consulting, specifically with an aim towards Strategic Business Planning and Growth and Development.

Those will once again be my primary Business Markets.

In addition I will still be pursuing my Careers as an inventor, a fiction writer, and a songwriter.

Contact me if you are interested in pursuing projects of this type.

A VALIANT EFFORT

I have to admit that if I were Valiant comics, and given Valiant’s roster of characters, having a Chinese entertainment company as a capital and marketing/production partner would probably seem like a near ideal arrangement.

 

Valiant Comics Plans to Launch Its Own ‘Cinematic Universe’

By

Fear not: There will be no shortage of comic-book movies in years to come, even if DC and Marvel give up on constantly rebooting Batman and Spider-Man. The independent comic-book publisher Valiant Entertainment has secured an eight-figure equity investment from Beijing-based DMG Entertainment, plus an additional nine figures for the production of film and TV projects. The publisher has a library of 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar and Harbinger, and films based on the titles Bloodshot, Shadowman, and Archer & Armstrong were already in the works. Valiant says its partnership with DMG — which co-produced and co-financed Iron Man 3 — will allow it to “begin to establish its cinematic universe in the United States, China and beyond.”

The two companies plan to develop more superhero films for simultaneous release in the U.S. and China, and to expand Valiant’s Asian audience via Chinese-language publishing, animation, online games, merchandise, and theme parks.

“Audiences in China and the rest of the world are hungry for heroic stories that they can more easily relate to … and with the international box office accounting for the biggest piece of the total gross, the time is right for a truly international superhero franchise,” said DMG President Wu Bing in a press release. “DMG will bring its unique global perspective to the task of transforming the Valiant Universe into the first international comic-movie universe.”

 

IS OUR SHEER VOLUME OF SUCCESS MAKING SUCCESS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT?

Fascinating, and watch the videos for these links.

Part of me thinks this is absolutely superb and it has all kinds of beneficial real world applications. As well as all kinds of varied inventive and fictional implications.

Another part of me says, “Remember, your government loves you…”

The last thing these stories and videos made me think of is this: I have often wondered if the Industrial revolution did not occur in the ancient world, as in the modern, because technology was basically carefully controlled and the mechanisms for spreading and disseminating it were not readily available.

For instance in ancient Greece and Rome and in Byzantium (as well as elsewhere) you had some fairly moderate degree of useful technology rather widely disseminated, but only rather small and isolated pockets of much higher technology (such as Greek Fire) and information (great libraries and invention facilities – museums), like at Alexandria (for instance).

But our world may be turning out to be the opposite in function but with the same general end-effect. You have so many pockets of really high, and often advanced proprietary technology, and such a crowded marketplace for disseminating this information and these artifacts (the internet for instance) that it may be becoming nearly impossible for even the most advanced technologies to gain a proper dissemination and general marketing foothold.

That is the sheer number of extremely crowded clusters of high tech projects and the fact that so many highly valuable scientific and technological and business projects are competing at the same time along a very crowded information highway may actually either be reducing the spread of beneficial new technologies, or regulating and reducing that spread to very small and tightly controlled niches and geographies.

In other words we are the working opposite of our ancestors, they had a relatively small number of high tech advances they were creating as the result of a relatively small number of individual geniuses but the ability to share information and the desire to keep such advances secret probably greatly limited the spread of their beneficial advances and technologies.

On the other hand we have a huge number of very important projects underway simultaneously, at countless facilities and under the auspices of hundreds of thousands of brilliant people, all competing for attention at the same time, and the overall net effect is that once again we are subtly suppressing the spread of our own advances and technologies.

Our sheer volume of success is making it almost impossible for everything that should flourish to actually flourish.

As to the last story I am sure we are at a much more advanced stage of development by now.

Fast-Running Robot Cheetah Let Off Its Leash

Army Tests Flying Robo-Sniper