The Station: Porsche IPO demand accelerates and more micromobility layoffs

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Welcome back to The Station, your central hub for all past, present and future means of moving people and packages from Point A to Point B. 

In case you missed last week's edition, here is a handy roundup of what we saw during Monterey Car Week, which wrapped last Sunday. Tl;dr: EVs reigned.

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the station scooter1a
the station scooter1a

First, let's check out what cities are up to ...

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Brussels closed off its downtown to cars, joining a small but growing list of cities that are seeing the light (because there’s no car smog blocking the sun).

Denver is proposing shifting $900 million away from highway expansion projects and toward ones that favor walking, biking and public transit.

In startup news ...

Gogoro has surpassed 500,000 monthly battery swapping subscribers in Taiwan, a big milestone for the company that says it has enabled more than 325 million battery swaps, or 340,000 swaps per day.

Tier is the latest micromobility company to lay off employees. I personally wasn’t expecting Tier to join the layoff train, especially after watching the company gobble up other startups on its path to scooter domination. Unfortunately, due to the current economic and funding climate, Tier laid off about 180 staffers as it tries to trim costs on its path to profitability.

— Rebecca Bellan

Deal of the week

money the station
money the station

Snippets about Porsche's impending IPO have been trickling out for months now, but this latest one really piqued my interest. Why? Well, Porsche could end up being one of Europe's biggest-ever listings.

The company has reportedly put together enough investor interest, including from T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Qatar Investment Authority, for its IPO at a valuation of as much as $85 billion, Bloomberg reported. The company, which currently sits under VW Group, secured preorders that exceed the shares on offer at a valuation between €60 billion and €85 billion ($85 billion), according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg.

Stay tuned; the automaker is expected to announced its intention to float in the first week of September after a supervisory board sign-off.

Other deals that got my attention this week ... (subscribe for all the deals

Kodiak Robotics landed another backer. The self-driving trucks startup announced this week a partnership with truck stop operator Pilot Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company. As part of the deal, Pilot has taken a stake in the company and a board seat. While the amount of the investment wasn't disclosed, Pilot is now the largest strategic investor of Kodiak, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Zitara, a San Francisco-based battery management software company, raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Energy Impact Partners, and joined by existing investors NextView Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Trucks VC.

Want to read more? The Station's weekly emailed newsletter also includes a roundup of AV, EV and other news and a "A Little Bird," a section in which I share verified insider news. This week in "Little Bird" I share a newcomer in the AV permit pool in California. Sign up! It's free!