Led by Sozo Ventures with backing from Union Square Ventures and RyderVentures among others, new financing round will help independent truckers take control over their business
MIAMI, April 6, 2022 — SmartHop, the smart trucking solution that empowers independent trucking businesses to earn more and stress less, today announced a $30 million Series B financing round led by Sozo Ventures with participation from existing investors Union Square Ventures (USV), RyderVentures, Greycroft, Equal Ventures, Las Olas VC and The Fund. Additional participants in the round include logistics industry veterans Robby Nathan, founder and CEO of LoadDelivered; Jett McCandles, founder and CEO of project44; Andrew Leto, founder and CEO of Emerge; Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of FreightWaves; and Jason Duboe, Chief Growth Officer at project44; and Alumni Ventures.
SmartHop’s Series B raise adds significant resources following the company’s best year on record, closing 2021 with a 3.5x increase in available load access over January 2021, a total of 14 million miles driven by carriers and owner-operators, and enabling its top truckers to make 68% more than the industry average. Last year SmartHop also expanded its platform, debuting its mobile app and a new insurance offering and opened access for its customers to the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America.
With a total of $46 million in funding following its USV-led $12M Series A round last year, SmartHop will use the new financing to scale its leading-edge platform for small truckers and to grow its team. All efforts will be geared towards helping independent carriers and owner-operators maximize profits, minimize downtime, and increase control over their business.
“The supply chain nightmares of the past two years have hammered home the crucial role truckers play in the global economy, yet the vast majority of them are hobbled by an antiquated and grossly inefficient system,” said Spencer Foust, Managing Director at Sozo Ventures. “Through its impressive technology platform, vast partner network and stellar team of industry veterans, SmartHop makes it possible for small truckers to work better and get paid better. That’s good news for them, and for all of us who depend on their hard work and many sacrifices.”
SmartHop was founded in 2018 by Garcia, whose experience bootstrapping a trucking company in his native Venezuela and in the US, provided him with perspective into the hurdles facing independent carriers. SmartHop is the only complete solution in the market that makes it easier for truckers to run a profitable business without sacrificing independence. Through the nation’s largest network of brokers, freight marketplaces, and partners, the SmartHop platform provides small fleets and owner-operators with tech-driven products for dispatching, payments, fuel, lease, and insurance, giving them access to the best rates and better capabilities than leading carriers. Earlier this month SmartHop opened a new headquarters in Miami, a 5,000 square-foot space in the Wynwood district, to support its rapidly expanding team.
“Trucking is a difficult job for anyone, but for decades it has been especially challenging for smaller trucking companies, leading to burnout and driver churn which, given their crucial role in the nation’s supply chain, has negatively impacted our economy,” said Guillermo Garcia, co-founder and CEO of SmartHop. “Since day one we’ve been laser-focused on supporting small fleets and owner-operators with a single technology platform, and our exceptional growth over the past year indicates SmartHop is not only helping level the playing field but also making their jobs easier and helping their business thrive. Our investors share our common belief that technology can transform industries and positively impact major markets and we’re eager to continue our push to reshape how truckers make a living.”
Small fleets and owner-operators power the nation’s trucking landscape. Over 90% of American trucking companies operate six or fewer trucks, with small fleets employing 3 million drivers (90% of all truckers) and moving about $500 billion in freight volume annually. Yet this majority faces significant challenges that disadvantage their companies and negatively impact the health of the nation’s supply chain, including:
- Limited Support: They are burdened with countless hours of back-office work and inefficient operations.
- Dead Hauls: They experience too much time spent driving empty or looking for loads.
- Low Revenue Per Mile: They can often only access lower-quality, lower-paying loads.
Sozo Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based firm founded to support technology-enabled ventures with expansion, led the $30M Series B round. Sozo Ventures’ portfolio includes Zoom, Twitter, Square and Coinbase as well as supply chain technology providers such as Flexport, Kargo, and project44. USV — a thesis-driven venture capital firm focused on products and services that leverage networks to broaden access to capital, knowledge and wellbeing — again participated in SmartHop’s fundraising round
RyderVenture, the corporate capital venture arm of Ryder System, Inc, whose first investment was SmartHop’s Series A round, has realized heightened value in SmartHop’s technology and has deployed that solution within its own fleet of trucks.
“In the year since USV’s first investment in SmartHop, the company has greatly expanded its partner ecosystem and offerings, providing, in turn, access to resources small trucking companies need to fairly compete,” said Rebecca Kaden, General Partner at USV. “We’re excited to once again work with the SmartHop team as they continue to expand and leverage their massive network to build the dominant platform and toolset for small truckers in this multi-billion dollar market.”
If you’re interested in joining SmartHop to help make an impact in the trucking industry, please visit www.smarthop.com/careers.
North American truckers move billions of tons of freight annually, and SmartHop is here to move with them as their trusted copilot. Founded for truckers by truckers, SmartHop uses artificial intelligence to deliver smart load recommendations, full-service dispatch, and fintech products for small trucking companies. We handle everything truckers need so they can focus on the road. For more information, visit: www.smarthop.com.
About Sozo Ventures
Sozo Ventures, a leading global acceleration and expansion venture capital firm, led the $30M Series B round. Sozo’s portfolio includes Zoom, Twitter, Square and Coinbase, as well as supply chain technology providers Flexport, Kargo and project44.
About Union Square Ventures
Union Square Ventures is a thesis driven venture capital firm based in New York City. USV’s current thesis is focused on products and services that leverage networks to broaden access to capital, knowledge and wellbeing. The portfolio includes Twitter, Etsy, Twilio, MongoDB, Coinbase, Carta, and Stripe, among others.