Al Gore’s fund leads $400 million deal with trucking startup
In the four years since it was founded, Convoy Inc. has assembled a lineup of big-name investors that includes Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Marc Benioff. It’s adding one more to the list: Al Gore.
The former U.S. vice president’s sustainability-focused investing fund, Generation Investment Management LLP, led a $400 million funding round for Convoy, which makes software to connect freight shippers with truck drivers. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. co-led the investment with Gore’s firm, Convoy said Wednesday. The deal values the startup at $2.75 billion.
Convoy is often described as “Uber for trucking”—a moniker that took hold before Uber Technologies Inc. set up a competing business. Uber has committed to hire 2,000 people to expand freight operations in Chicago. Another rival business in the United Arab Emirates, Trukker, said Tuesday it received a $23 million investment led by a Saudi Arabian venture capital fund.
A big part of Convoy’s pitch is that it can improve the trucking business by making it more efficient, both financially and environmentally. Transportation is the largest source of U.S. emissions today, and heavy-duty trucks represent about 13% of those emissions. Convoy’s service is designed to eliminate unnecessary driving by ensuring trucks can get loads on each trip. The business isn’t yet profitable, but Dan Lewis, the chief executive officer, has said it will be eventually.
Customers include Procter & Gamble Co. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. Among the investors in the new funding round are Alphabet Inc.’s CapitalG, Baillie Gifford, Durable Capital Partners, Fidelity Investments and Lone Pine Capital. The new funds are expected to help the company accelerate its expansion and fend off competition from upstarts, as well as the likes of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.