This is the age of wild rides that are transforming the personal transportation sector into something worth more than ever. We not only have the soon-to-be available space tourism, but we’ve also got the even more futuristic colonization of Mars, which is about transportation as much as it is about anything.
On the slightly more sober side, we’re looking at the mass monetization of electric vehicles, and finally--a ride-sharing company that’s as green as Millennials want it to be. Behind it all are six men who have positioned themselves to transform the transportation sector, forever.
#1 Elon Musk
Musk is the man behind the electric vehicle revolution, but he’s much more than that. For a company that was once given an outside chance against deep-pocketed ICE heavyweights, Tesla (TSLA) is suddenly being hailed as a clean energy revolutionary and Wall Street cannot seem to get enough of the EV maker. Coronavirus aside, Wall Street is exceedingly bullish on Tesla right now.
Musk is likely to emerge with three crowns on the ground: EVs, solar, and clean energy. Each revolutionary.
It may seem easy to overlook Tesla’s solar business considering that the solar panel and battery segment brought in just six percent of the company’s revenue in 2019. But with the meteoric rise of ESG investing over the past couple of years, many companies, including traditional fossil fuel companies, have been investing in clean energy projects including solar and wind energy at an unprecedented rate. But Musk’s big picture transportation transformation bid is in outer space, through his private company, SpaceX.
In September, Musk unveiled the Starship spacecraft designed to carry 100 passengers and cargo to space. SpaceX announced test flights would start soon, with plans to land on the moon before 2022. And the private company just penned a deal with Space Adventures to fly private citizens to orbit aboard their Crew Dragon spacecraft next year.
Northern Sky Research predicts the suborbital and orbital tourism market could be worth as much as $14 billion in revenue worldwide by 2028.
#2 Sayan Navaratnam
While Branson, Bezos and Musk are busy with “fly-me-to-the-moon” sentiments, Sayan Navaratnam-- planning to join the other transportation gurus—is quietly making moves on a more Earthly scale.
With a focus on sustainability and progress, he’s brought us Facedrive, the next-gen ride-sharing company that gives the segment’s key customer base exactly what they want: A green alternative in the fossil-fuel driven ride-sharing sector.
Millennials are driving a new mega-trend: impact-investing. Facedrive (FD.V)--the first ride-sharing company that contribute to planting a tree while you ride, and choose exactly what kind of footprint you want to leave behind.
This is a new challenge to Uber, which simply hasn’t sunk its teeth into the mega-trend of ESG investing. Musk gets it, and so does Jeff Bezos--after all, the richest man on the planet just committed $10 billion to a Global Earth Fund. Sayan gets it, too. Green stocks will eventually eclipse the current technology monopolies, and even the world’s top oil traders are going green.
The biggest disruption in the world right now--outside of the coronavirus--is that major hedge funds are giving in to the pressure and moving money into things that are environmentally and socially responsible. Just ask Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock--one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He says climate change has become a “defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects”. Facedrive caught on to the mega-trend years ago.
“We’re all about grabbing onto the biggest trends in tech before they’re mega-trends. So that takes us back to 2016, when we first came up with the idea. Whenever a major new trend emerges, it’s the job of the truly innovative to step back and say ‘OK, this is an explosively great idea - so what’s wrong with it?’ When you figure that out, and you’ve got the right network and the right people behind you, you can jump in on one of the biggest trends and disrupt a massive market at exactly the right time,” Navaratnam said.
It’s all about choice these days, and the disruption here is Facedrive’s offer of choice to the customer, who can seamlessly choose whether they want an EV or a hybrid, rather than a conventional car. And even if they choose conventional, they’re still making a green choice because the CO2 is being offset for them.
Already, Sayan is attracting huge names with Facedrive because it’s been recognized as the #1 eco-friendly and socially responsible TaaS (Transportation as a Service) platform. In addition to celebrities, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, WestBrook Global Inc. is also on board. The company has even partnered with a major telecom firm to offer drivers significant discounts.
A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the average (U.S.) ride-hailing trip results in 69% more pollution than whatever transportation option it displaced. 3,500 trees later, Facedrive hasn’t only latched on to the mega-trend, it has helped drive it--literally.
The news flow has been as fast as the rate of infection in the United States. In the span of only several weeks, Facedrive has announced global expansion to Europe and the United States, acquired an innovative carpooling platform called HiRide that is storming the Canadian long-distance ride-share segment
#3 Richard Branson
In February, Branson’s Virgin Galactic (SPCE) launched its new “One Small Step” qualification process, which means that for $1,000, the most serious about flying to space can buy their way to the front of the line for reservations on a space flight whose timing and price remains elusive still, even though tickets for the inaugural flights have earlier been priced at $250,000 apiece.
So far, 7,957 people have signed up, including Justin Beiber and Leonardo DiCaprio.
But this is a futuristic endeavor, so profits are also futuristic.
Virgin Galactic posted its first public earnings in the last week of February, showing a net loss of $72.8 million in Q4 2019. That won’t really put much of a crimp in Branson’s net worth of $5.2 billion, and he is just fine knowing that in the not-so-distant-future, he’ll be taking people on excursions to space. It’s worth the wait for the profit.
After all, the global space industry is expected to generate revenue of $1.1 trillion or more in 2040, up from the current $350 billion, according to a recent Morgan Stanley estimate.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo went through its first supersonic, rocket-powered flight test in California in April, and is expected to begin commercial operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico as early as next year.
Branson is also the first in this cosmic segment to go public. Last October, Virgin Galactic Holdings became the first space tourism company to hit public markets after listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Each space venture wildly different from the next: Branson’s relies on a space plan dropped from a carrier aircraft, and only then does the rocket kick in, boosting passengers high into the atmosphere. For this reason, Virgin Galactic is bound to get there sooner, because it’s not going as far.
#4 Jeff Bezos
But Branson has competition, not least from the world’s richest man, Amazon’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos.
Bezos's Blue Origin is a private space company that hopes to send paying customers beyond Earth in the very near future. It also seeks to plot the pathway for millions of people to live and work in space.
Bezos will use Blue Origin’s New Shepard space system to launch customers to the edge of space in a capsule that separates from a small rocket and then comes back to Earth under parachutes. Last May, Bezos revealed Blue Origin's new Blue Moon lander, which will bring payloads to the moon.
When Bezos sold $1.84 billion in Amazon stock in early February, the immediate speculation was that he was going to spend it on his space venture, Blue Origin, to catch up with Elon Musk and his private company, SpaceX, which tends to hog the headlines.
Indeed, just a month ago, Blue Origin opened a new rocket production facility in Huntsville, Alabama, where BE-3U and BE-4 engines will be made. But before we get stellar, we’re going to get green.
Space will have to wait a little while, but in the meantime, there are three contenders in the cosmos, and two major contenders on the ground. All four of them are the present and future of a massively lucrative and evolving transportation industry.
#5 Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai is the mastermind CEO of Alphabet (GOOGL), Google’s parent company. Under Pichai, Alphabet has embarked on some of its most exciting and innovative projects, including the acquisition and investment in Waymo, a leading company in the autonomous vehicle revolution.
Despite its late arrival to the automotive game, the company has made major waves in developing and deploying fully autonomous vehicles. In fact, as of January, Waymo’s self-driving cars have traversed a total of. 20 million miles on public roads – a major feat to say the least. Waymo’s latest figures make it the de-facto leader in the self-driving car space, surpassing China’s Baidu and Russia’s Yandex.
“To put this in perspective, 20 million miles of driving experience is the equivalent of driving 800 times around the globe, making 40 trips to the moon and back, and accumulating 1,400 years of driving experience for an average American driver,” wrote the company in a press release. “As we drive the next 10 million miles and beyond, we’ll continue to scale our fully driverless miles, grow our community of riders, and tackle new geographies and related complexities, empowered by our fifth-generation hardware suite.”
#6 Søren Skou
As the relatively new CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk (AMKBY), Søren Skou has made significant progress towards pushing the company into the future. From its green initiatives to its technological edge, Maersk has grown significantly under Skou.
Maersk’s ambitious environmental plans include the development of a full fleet of zero-carbon ships by 2030, and it’s already well on its way. Additionally, the company plans to be completely carbon free by 2050.
While it’s environmental focus has been key to its investor appeal, its technological edge has positioned it as a leader in the industry. In 2018, the company deployed the first of many fully automated and fully electric container ships. And in 2019, it even deployed a team of autonomous robots at the Los Angeles docks, a move which has been well received by both dock workers and investors alike.
By. Joao Piexe
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This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for ride sharing services will grow; that the demand for environmentally conscientious ride sharing services companies in particular will grow; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plan. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing governmental laws and policies; the company’s ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company’s expansion activities; the ability of the company to attract a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demands of customer riders; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; the ability of the company to keep operating costs and customer charges competitive with other ride-hailing companies; and the company’s ability to continue agreements on affordable terms with existing or new tree planting enterprises. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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