The technology-enabled trucking start-up, Convoy Inc. is backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. On Thursday, the Seattle-based company announced that it has added another top tech company to its investors’ line-up through the latest funding round.
Convoy said it raised $185 million in the Series C funding session led by Google parent Alphabet’s investment arm, CapitalG. As a part of the fresh investment round, David Lawee from CapitalG will join Convoy’s board of directors.
The other new investors are T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Lone Pine Capital. The existing investors including Greylock Partners, YCombinator, KKR & Co. co-CEO Henry Kravis, IAC/InterActiveCorp. Chairman Barry Dille and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also participated in the funding round.
Adding this new fund, Convoy has raised total capital over $265 million, valuing the trucking start-up at more than $1 billion. So, that valuation endows the company with the ‘Unicorn’ status and that too, within 3 years of inception.
“We believe Convoy will continue to leverage its technology and data capabilities to drive increased efficiency for the industry overall,” said Lawee. "It's no longer a theory that they could drive efficiencies. They are actually driving efficiencies.”
How Trucking Start-up Operates
Introduced in 2015, Convoy has developed software that connects shippers and truckers to move freight. The mobile app facilitates truckers to browse firms that have shipping requirements, along with mentioning exact pay. The truckers may accept the order immediately, hence eliminating a need for any middleman between them and the shippers.
The app also allows the drivers to search for another load during their return journey so to save on money. Similarly, the shippers receive better quotations and can track their deliveries through real-time GPS.
Eventually, the trucking start-up provides a platform for any size of shipping companies and drivers to plan their jobs in an efficient and profitable manner.
Convoy’s customer list comprise of giants like Unilever NV and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA.
"Trucks run empty 40% of the time, and they often sit idle due to inefficient scheduling," said Dan Lewis, Co-founder and CEO, Convoy. "Convoy's ability to serve our shippers and carriers with ground-breaking, innovative technology is already having an impact on these critical problems.”
Future Plans of Convoy
The innovative trucking start-up committed to utilize the new fund to boost product innovation and meet the escalating demands of shippers and drivers. It is also working to improve the system’s algorithms in terms of determining payments.
Moreover, Convoy currently operates in all the 50 states of the USA and now it wants it spread the wings in newer territories such as Southeast, cited Bloomberg.
Alphabet-backed Convoy competes Uber Freight in the tech-trucking business along with Tesla Semi, Transfix, Trucker Path, and Keep Truckin. Last year, the Alphabet investment arm supported Uber’s other arch-rival, Lyft.
Other than this, Alphabet’s own autonomous driving segment, Waymo has started testing its self-driving trucks in Georgia, Arizona, California and many other locations.