CNBC Disruptor 50

18. CloudTrucks

Founders: Tobenna Arodiogbu (CEO), George Ezenna, Jin Shieh
Launched: 2019
Headquarters: San Francisco
$141.5 million (PitchBook)
Valuation: $850 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Cloud computing, Internet of Things, machine learning
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

Persephone Kavallines

Competition in the $800 billion U.S. trucking industry has never been higher.

Already a fragmented marketplace dotted with thousands of trucking companies and independent operators alongside significant players such as Walmart and other massive carriers, the historic volume and demand for goods amid the pandemic has put massive pressure on drivers.

At the same time, that demand has put the trucking industry's staffing issues in the spotlight, historically plagued by high turnover rates amid grueling hours, struggles to attract female drivers and the overall aging of current drivers. There was a shortage of more than 80,000 drivers in 2021, according to the American Trucking Associations trade group.

San Francisco-based CloudTrucks has aimed to bridge the technology gap for small trucking businesses and entrepreneurs while also lowering the barrier of entry for new drivers, providing tools that help them make the most of their runs and produce more revenue while also helping them get paid faster alleviating any cash flow constraints.

The company's app allows drivers to instantly book truckloads aggregated from brokers and shippers across the country, helping to optimize the driver's schedules around their preferences. It has introduced new features in the past year, allowing for things like instant payments. Other tiers allow drivers to drive under CloudTrucks insurance and even take part in lease or lease-to-own programs. The company collects up to 15% in fees per load.

While there are several start-ups and companies focused on a future driven by autonomous trucking or last-mile shipping, the demand for drivers is not expected to subside any time soon as more than 72% of goods in the U.S. are currently shipped by truck. The Biden administration has looked to aid in the growth of the industry, including efforts in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to accelerate the expansion of apprenticeship programs and expedite commercial driver licensing.

CloudTrucks has also looked to expand its reach amid the trucking boom, which said it has seen the number of loads completed on its platform grow by more than eight times in the last year. The company raised a $115 million Series B round in November at an $850 million valuation, a round it says it will use to expand its technology, hire more employees and broaden digital integration. Tiger Global led this most recent round, which also included investment from this year's No. 1 CNBC Disruptor 50 company Flexport.

"Nearly every sector of the economy relies on drivers to transport its goods and we are eager to use this latest round of funding to continue optimizing the trucking business — especially as our country needs new truck drivers more than ever," Tobenna Arodiogbu, co-founder and CEO of CloudTrucks, said in a statement at the time of the Series B.

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