- Email Convoy, an online market that links shippers with freight truck fleets and independent drivers, revealed today it raised$185 million in a Series C fundraising round led by CapitalG, the growth equity mutual fund of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.With its brand-new funding, Seattle-based Convoy strategies to continue broadening its network of clients and truckers to more U.S. areas, CEO Dan Lewis says. The company uses its automatic technology to track offered trucks and delivery job provides so it can better match freight providers with shippers’ needs. With the online network covering more ground, it can provide more alternatives to consumers through its mobile app, Lewis says.As it manages masses of data, Convoy is able to inform shippers when they can get a much better rate and a much better truck if they can change the pickup time. The company also assists carriers find jobs on their return trips so they can prevent the cost of driving with trucks empty, Lewis says. This now happens 40 percent of the time, he says.
“The more volume and the more markets, the more effective we end up being,” he says.Convoy, founded in 2015, launched its service in the Pacific Northwest, and now manages freight-hauling activity in areas west of the Rocky Mountains, in Texas and the broader south main part of the United States, and in major markets in the Midwest and northeastern United States, Lewis states. Convoy will now push further into southern states consisting of Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas, he states. Among its clients are big shippers including Unilever, GE Appliances, Land ‘O Lakes, and window glass contractor J.R. Butler.The company
, which currently has 300 workers, prepares to staff up its item and engineering groups and build more features around its core load-matching service, Lewis says. Technology provides “endless chances” to enhance the freight-shipping process, he says. To reduce points of friction such as the hand-off of loads from trucks to customer shipment points, Convoy is beginning to incorporate factors such as storage facility operations into its database.With its brand-new capital
, Convoy’s fundraising total now exceeds$265 million. Joining CapitalG in the Series C funding were new investors Lone Pine Capital as well as funds and accounts recommended by T. Rowe Cost Associates. Earlier financiers Greylock Partners and Y Combinator also participated.Convoy isn’t the only company that found trucking as a field ripe for technological interruption—others include Uber Freight, Transfix, Trucker Course, and OnTruck. Tech-based business are taking on conventional freight brokerage companies by trying to use lower costs, in addition to quick transactions and enhanced services.These automated markets could be laying the foundation for a future freight transport market that consists of self-driving lorries. Lewis says Convoy could be “a great option for companies that construct autonomous trucks.”But he doesn’t see Convoy as a danger to the incomes of truck motorists. The business can have the opposite impact, at least in the near term, he says.”I think it’s going to be a very long time before drivers are not in these trucks,”Lewis states. Freight delivery involves numerous tasks for a driver to do aside
from sitting at the wheel, he says.Right now, Convoy is assisting carriers deal with a lack of truck motorists and intermittent scarcities of truck capability, he says. The business deals with many little providers and independent owner/operators. By linking them to an effective marketplace and lowering costs such as running a returning truck without a cargo, Lewis says, Convoy is hoping to encourage small companies to include more trucks and intensify their hiring.”We require more truck chauffeurs,”Lewis says.Photo Credit: Depositphotos Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy’s San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at [email protected] Email Trending on Xconomy