On-demand digital freight network Convoy raises $260M

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The company behind Conway, the digital freight network and marketplace that connects Shippers with Truckers, has raised $ 260 million, including $ 160 million in Series E rounds and $ 100 million in venture debt.

Founded in Seattle in 2015, Conway works with companies including Unilever, The Home Depot and LG Electronics, which serve to improve their freight transportation efficiency, reduce costs and improve their carbon emissions.

Convoy in the freight sector is trying to solve the problem similar to what Uber is trying to solve in the urban transport sector – it’s about supply that ultimately meets demand using technology. In fact, Uber itself provides a similar service called Uber Freight, which reuses its technological infrastructure to support companies’ logistics.

The recent increase in convoys comes at a time when the US and the world are grappling with numerous supply chain barriers, one of which is the shortage of truckers. The fleet goes a long way in addressing this by optimizing and streamlining cargo loads and ensuring that trucks do not travel long distances with empty trailers.

Conway co-founder and CEO Dan Lewis told VentureBeat, “Moving goods by truck is the foundation of our local supply chain – when the supply chain is unreliable, companies spend more money and waste valuable time.” “As an industry, we need to focus less on the shortage of trailers and drivers and more on how we do more than what we have. The real priority is to get competent carriers and drivers to run efficiently, get paid quickly for the work they do and feel valued in their business. “

Convoy mobile app

Slow to adapt

Like other industries such as construction, the freight sector has historically been slow to embrace technology and some industries have not been as quick to embrace digitalisation – and that’s where Conway and its people are entering the fray.

Moreover, Conway’s mission has probably become a little easier over the past two years, as businesses across the spectrum have tried to cope with the effects of the global epidemic through digital transformation – in many ways, forcing companies to find new ways to improve them. Bottom line. And automation plays a fundamental part in all of this, with Convoy leaning specifically on machine learning smarts to match freight loads with trucks without human intervention.

“Historically, the freight industry has invested less in technology and, as a result, management teams have struggled with increasing firefighters over the past two years,” Lewis explained. Technology is the only way to reach efficiency and scale on a flexible basis with demand. Machine learning and automation have revolutionized the elastic capacity for freight, where carriers can operate effectively regardless of market conditions.

Earlier, Conway had raised about $ 670 million, including $ 400 million more than two years ago, and with the slate cash injection, the company said it had invested heavily in strengthening its team in the first event, including the recruitment of engineers. Plans to. , Data scientists and logistics specialists.

“The bigger picture, we focus on our mission of ‘transporting the world with infinite capacity and zero waste,'” Lewis added. “This increase enables Conway to address billions of dollars of waste directly in the trucking industry, accelerate our growth of first-to-market products and technologies, expand our trucking marketplace and further our offerings to carriers and shippers across the U.S. “

Conway’s Series E round led by Bailey Gifford and T. Rowe Price, whose venture-debt element came from Hercules Capital – said it had received an additional $ 150 million in credit from JP Morgan. The company is now valued at $ 3.8 billion, representing more than $ 1 billion in its Series D valuation in 2019.

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