Started in April 2015, Convoy is creating a trucking marketplace that automates the pricing and brokering of trucking jobs in a market where nearly $800B is spent every year on commercial trucking services in the US.
Convoy makes it easy for businesses that ship freight to connect with nearby trucking companies on demand. Convoy’s technology allows shippers to create new shipments in seconds without lengthy bidding processes or dozens of phone calls. Shippers get benefits like real-time location tracking, instant access to key documents, and a dashboard of their current and historical deliveries. Trusted carriers in Convoy’s network receive notifications of new jobs on their phone, making it simple to get more jobs per week. Carriers complete jobs using Convoy’s mobile app, which doubles as a tool for managing and growing their fleets.
Dan and Grant teamed up to found Convoy after working together at Amazon. Dan had first-hand knowledge of the trucking business from driving a delivery truck for his family's Seattle-area business. Grant is an exceptional developer -- we met back in 2009 when he was building Zendorse and then I was a huge fan of the infinite scrabble board -- and had kept in touch over the years while I was at Ignition. They are incredibly humble and empathetic founders that also execute with precision.
The market Convoy is pursuing is massive. Trucking accounts for 82% of the total dollars spent moving freight; every year, $12T worth of goods and 10.5b tons of cargo is moved; and being a truck driver is the most common job in America. Of all the miles that truck drivers travel across the country, 40% of those trucks are empty. For every 1% improvement in truck routes and utilization, the company can save nearly 400M gallons of fuel from being consumed, 100M hours from being wasted, and 3 billion miles from being driven each year.
Perhaps the most compelling data point came from a blog post on NPR where the author created a map visualizing the most popular jobs in the US from 1978 thru 2014. There's some nuance to this around how truck driving jobs are classified, etc. but the punchline is:
We were investors in the initial seed round and have continued to invest and support Dan and Grant on their mission to improve the trucking industry. Last year, the company raised a $62m Series B round of funding from YCombinator's continuity fund and a group of strategic, high-profile investors that include Bill Gates, Howard Behar, Henry Kravis, and Marc Benioff. The company now counts brands like Unilever and AB InBev as customers. We're excited for what's ahead!