Disruptor 50 2020

47. Convoy

Founders: Dan Lewis (CEO), Grant Goodale
Launched: 2015
Headquarters: Seattle
 $685 million
Valuation: $2.7 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Cloud computing, explainable AI, machine learning
Transportation, logistics
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 1 (No. 11 in 2019)

George Kavallines

This Seattle-based company has developed an on-demand technology platform that enables trucking companies and shippers to connect via an app instead of relying on a broker to make the match. The goal: to make truckloads more efficient. Founders Dan Lewis and Grant Goodale — both former Amazon executives — are proving that their technology can save truckers time, money and cut CO2 output in the process. That has been important during the coronavirus pandemic as companies grapple with how to reduce supply chain disruptions and expenses.

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Convoy has gone from hundreds of loads a week soon after it launched to tens of thousands a week across the U.S. It has about 100 routes, many of them concentrated around economic hubs such as Michigan, California and Chicago. The company estimates that trucking accounts for around 205 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in the U.S. each year. Nearly 75 million metric tons of that total are contributed by trucks that are empty. Because the majority of truck drivers work for themselves, it's harder for them to coordinate multiple routes to cut down on driving these empty trucks. Convoy is aiming to solve that.

Convoy is targeting a hugely fragmented market. According to the American Trucking Association, the U.S. trucking industry is worth $797 billion annually, but small fleets — six or fewer trucks — make up 91% of the market. Customers include Unilever, P&G, Wayfair and Land O'Lakes. The company makes money by taking a percentage of each transaction on its platform.

In November the company raised $400 million from investors, including General Investment Management, T. Rowe Price and Fidelity. There have been a bunch of high-profile investors as well — Jeff Bezos, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and U2's Bono and the Edge. To date the company has raised $685 million.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies