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Amazon Tests 🧪 Using Flex Drivers to Make Mall Deliveries
Amazon is experimenting with a program that will have its contracted Flex drivers deliver packages from mall-based retailers, allowing sellers to ship products from their own stores using the company’s delivery service.
The e-commerce giant has been reportedly notifying some Flex drivers in recent months about the program, where workers fetched packages from retailers in their area and dropped them off at customers’ doorsteps.
“This is just another way we are able to connect Amazon sellers with customers via convenient delivery options,” Amazon spokesperson Lauren Samaha said in a statement. She added that only a handful of sellers are participating in the program but didn’t specify which ones.
It looks like the retail giant wants to make logistics a major focus as it seeks to shuttle packages to customers’ doorsteps at faster speeds.
Besides this, Amazon is also looking to conquer other shipping services on third-party websites as well by letting merchants that already store goods in Amazon’s warehouse add “Buy With Prime” buttons to their websites.
Hyundai is Building EV Production Facilities in the United States 🇺🇸
Hyundai is building facilities dedicated to manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries in Georgia, United States, marking the company’s first EV-only plant in the country.
The South Korean automaker will invest over $5 billion in the new facilities and will receive an additional $1 billion investment from its suppliers.
The capital will support the automaker’s work in electric vehicles, robotics, air taxis, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence.
“The new EV plant and battery manufacturing facilities represent an investment of approximately USD 5.54 billion. The new facility will break ground in early 2023 and is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units.” Hyundai said in a blog post.
“The battery manufacturing facility will be established through a strategic partnership, which the details will be disclosed at a later stage,” it added.
With this move, Hyundai is aiming to be one of the top electric vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. by 2026.
The move also supports the company’s carbon neutrality goals with new technologies and contributes to establishing new supply chains and production facilities in the U.S.
OpenSea Launches ➡️ Smart 💡 NFT Marketplace Seaport
NFT marketplace OpenSea has launched its new marketplace that will allow NFT sellers to strike direct deals with the buyers of digital collectibles.
Dubbed Seaport, the new decentralized protocol is not just for OpenSea, but all developers, content creators, and collectors can build on it.
It will not be controlled or operated by OpenSea, but it will be governed by smart contracts, allowing all NFT builders and collectors to use it.
“OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol,” said OpenSea in a blog post.
“As adoption grows and developers create new evolving use-cases, we are all responsible for keeping each other safe,” it added.
On this new platform, a user “can agree to supply a number of ETH / ERC20 / ERC721 / ERC1155 items” in exchange for an NFT as a payment method.
Additionally, users can specify which they want when making offers. The platform will also support tipping if the amount does not exceed that of the original offer.
Metaverse App BUD Raises $37 Million in Series B Funding 💰
BUD, a virtual platform to create and share 3D interactive experiences, has raised $37 million in its Series B funding round.
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India, along with participation from ClearVue Partners, NetEase, and Northern Light Venture Capital.
Existing investors Source Code Capital, GGV Capital, and Qiming Venture Partners also participated in the round.
Founded in 2019 by Risa Feng and Shawn Lin, BUD is a metaverse user-generated content (UGC) platform that lets users create bulbous 3D characters, cutesy virtual assets, and richly colored experiences through drag-and-drop and without any coding background.
Since its launch, the Singapore-based company has created more than 15 million custom experiences (virtual spaces with gameplay that others can join), while the total transaction volume of 3D materials has exceeded 150 million times.
BUD will use the fresh capital to introduce a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The company also plans to use the funds to increase its headcount and in-depth expansion of international markets.
Around the Web 🌐
Beeple Account Hack Nets Scammers $438,000 in Cryptos And NFTs: NFT artist Mike Winkelmann’s (commonly known as Beeple) Twitter account was hacked as part of a phishing scam to steal over $70000 in Ethereum. MetaMask Security Analyst Harry Denley alerted users about the scam saying that Beeple’s tweets contained a phishing scam link that would drain the crypto out of users’ wallets if clicked.
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