Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is putting money into a tech company that matches shippers to carriers, similar to how rivals Uber and Lyft Inc. connect riders to available drivers.
Convoy Inc., a trucking technology developer already backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, raised US$185 million in financing led by CapitalG, Alphabet Inc.’s growth equity fund.
Three-year-old Convoy makes software that helps shippers get better pricing and track deliveries. The system also automatically matches related backhauls.
According to lawyers for CapitalG, the startup has recently shown that it can improve on-time rates for shippers and fill a larger percentage of requests, and that progress persuaded CapitalG to finally invest.
“It’s no longer a theory that they could drive efficiencies,” he said. “They are actually driving efficiencies.”
The company plans to use the money to expand. It operates in all 50 U.S. states but needs to build volume in some newer regions, like the Southeast. Convoy will also invest to improve algorithms that help decide how much to charge shippers and how much to pay drivers, as well as software it’s offering to drivers and trucking companies to make their processes easier and more paperless.
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