SmartHop, a startup that uses AI to help long-distance drivers make their routes more efficient and lucrative by eliminating administrative headaches, just closed a $30 million Series B funding round, bringing the Increased total company funding to $46 million $12 million for Serie A last year.
The startup’s main offering is its intelligent shipping service, which recommends loads to truck drivers that optimize profits and travel time based on their truck capacity, the cities they travel through, and other details. With the fresh capital, SmartHop intends to focus more on its fintech products, such as the company’s fuel card program, which offers fuel discounts and other perks, or SmartHop’s insurance offerings.
“Fuel and insurance premiums in the trucking industry have been rising rapidly and have disproportionately impacted small truck drivers’ bottom line (our core market) and SmartHop just conducted a survey that found fuel and insurance costs are increasing their are the two biggest concerns,” Guillermo Garcia, co-founder and CEO of SmartHop, told TechCrunch.
With today’s high fuel prices, small trucking companies have fewer opportunities to negotiate fuel prices in advance and are therefore vulnerable to the current high diesel prices, the company said. SmartHop’s access to a large network of brokers, freight marketplaces and partners can give smaller companies access to better rates.
Other companies, like Cloud Trucksalso aim to alleviate the pain points of smaller majority owner-operated trucking companies through a variety of shipping and financial products.
According to a company statement, SmartHop will also use the funds to broadly scale its platform and grow its team.
Trucking is anything but an easy job. It puts truckers’ minds and bodies to the test as they spend hours in social isolation and physical ailments. Not to mention the stress of sifting through thousands of brokers’ websites and apps to close deals, plan routes, and try to have some semblance of control over their income.
Last year, trucking companies in the United States faced a record shortfall of 80,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations, a fact that some say has contributed to the supply chain disruption. At a time when autonomous freight startups are receiving increasing amounts of funding from investors, SmartHop’s latest round shows that making work easier for the average trucker is the real priority today.
That doesn’t mean SmartHop’s business model isn’t future-proof. While we’re a long way from autonomous trucks taking over our freeways, SmartHop’s service is just as relevant to manually operated trucking companies as it is to those who choose to manage autonomous trucks, Garcia said.
Sozo Ventures led SmartHop’s Series B and existing investors including Union Square Ventures, RyderVentures, Greycroft, Equal Ventures, Las Olas VC and The Fund also attended, alongside a number of angels from the logistics and trucking industry.
SmartHop raises $30M to boost trucking fintech products – TechCrunch Source link SmartHop raises $30M to boost trucking fintech products – TechCrunch