The virtual trucking carrier
CloudTrucks recently closed a $6.1M round to make a more profitable “business in a box” for owner-operators and other small trucking companies.
Heart of the American economy
Trucking is at the heart of the U.S. economy: there are 3.5M truck drivers in America who move 70% of all goods generating ~$800B in revenue. It is surprising to many people that the trucking industry is highly fragmented with 350,000 independent owner-operators (owners who also drive within their 1–2 truck business) and 97% of fleets operating 20 trucks or fewer. Indisputably, trucking is one of the largest and most important industries for the U.S. economy and yet the majority of drivers are struggling to earn a living.
Trucking is a really hard job
Truck drivers spend grueling hours on the road driving 100,000+ miles a year and weeks away from their families. Despite this, the drivers (owner-operators) are also expected to run their business themselves spending hours searching for loads and negotiating with brokers, managing sky-high costs including increasing insurance rates (these often run as high as $20,000 a year) and managing safety programs, invoicing and tons of paperwork. In some cases, these owner-operators turn to larger carriers who provide little relief at a very hefty cost — as high as 35% of revenue, leaving the owner-operator arguably worse off.
Future of Trucking
In recent years, we have seen a number of companies spring up to make improvements to the industry from digital brokers aiming to provide a more efficient marketplace, to safety solutions (electronic logging devices, cameras etc) for truck drivers and fleets. We’ve also seen a number of companies working on autonomous trucks to address the driver shortage problem. (Full disclosure: I was the CEO of an autonomous trucking startup where we focused on building technology that would work alongside the truck driver and NOT aim to replace them.) These have mostly been welcome improvements to the industry but they have not gone far enough in solving the problems that are faced by the owner-operators and small carriers.
We are providing a complete “business in a box” solution for owner-operators and small trucking carriers at a much lower cost using software engineering, data science and world class operations processes. Our mission is simple — to put more money in the hands of truck drivers and reduce their headaches. CloudTrucks will improve the three core metrics that every truck driver cares about — revenue, cash-flow and costs. We focus on the owner-operator and small trucking companies because they are the lifeblood of the industry and facing the largest pressures with fast rising insurance rates, predatory factoring options and a quickly changing landscape. It’s more important than ever to have someone in their corner whose incentives are 100% aligned with theirs.
Some amazing investors share our vision for the future of trucking and we are excited to be backed with $6.1M led by Craft Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kindred Ventures and Abstract Ventures. Our lead investor David Sacks expresses that enthusiasm saying “Trucking is at the heart of the American economy and yet technology still plays a very small role. We are excited to support the entire CloudTrucks team as they build the platform that will increase revenue and efficiency for thousands of owner operator truck drivers.”
Interested in joining the team or becoming an early customer? — check us out at cloudtrucks.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CloudTrucks Team!
P.S. Special thanks to our amazing group of angel investors and operators including Jake Gibson and Sheel Mohnot (Better Tomorrow), Parker Conrad (Rippling), Usman Ghani (Scotty Labs), Qasar Younis (Applied Intuition), Rob May (PJC ventures), Julia Dewahl (Opendoor), Immad Akhund (Mercury Bank), Vic Singh (Eniac), Leo Polovets (Susa ventures), Leonard Speiser, Ankit Jain (formerly Gradient ventures).
*Owner-operators would argue that the driver shortage is a manufactured problem in an effort to suppress company driver wages. The owner-operator independent drivers association (OOIDA) calls it a “myth”.