SmartHop raises $12 million in Series A funding to give small truckers the power of big carriers
We featured Smarthop back in July 2020 when the Miami, Florida-based tech startup raised $4.5 million in seed funding to empower small trucking companies with AI-powered freight dispatch solutions. You may be wondering want Smarthop does. In the United States, 91% of trucking companies are categorized as small businesses and operate with fewer than six trucks. The rules and restrictions imposed on the trucking industry put these small trucking companies at a disadvantage when booking loads and leveraging buying power. That’s where Smarthop comes in.
SmartHop helps solve this problem by empowering freight companies and drivers with the tools to optimize their loads, plan smarter routes, and grow their businesses. SmartHop’s easy-to-use platform removes the modern-day headaches of running a small trucking business. SmartHop helps truckers and small fleet carriers make better and faster decisions for their loads.
As a sign of investors’ confidence in the company’s direction, SmartHop announced today it has secured $12 million in Series A funding. The round, which was led by Union Square Ventures (USV) with participation from RyderVentures, brings the company’s total funding to $16.5 million.
SmartHop was founded in 2016 by co-founder and CEO, Guillermo Garcia, who started his career in the supply chain for Nestle in Venezuela before founding ALCARIN, one of the largest integrated logistics solutions in Venezuela. Because of its innovative and large addressable market, the company has attracted top-tier investors and angels to help further the company’s mission. Among these investors include Alex Yeager, director at Redwood Logistics, Andrew Leto, founder of GlobalTranz and Emerge TMS, and Jett McCandles, founder of a logistics company, Project44.
Here’s another factoid for you: In 2019, 72.5% of all freight transported in the U.S. was hauled by trucks, equating to 11.84 billion tons, according to The American Trucking Association. The vast majority of trucking companies — 91% — operate six or fewer trucks, and these smaller trucking businesses have been strained due to ongoing driver shortages and tighter capacities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, most small/independent owner-operators only have access to loads in the spot market, the 20% of the trucking market in which rates are based on current supply and demand for trucks on one-time or inconsistent load volumes. These loads are typically networked across dozens of impersonal brokers and low-quality load boards, leading to a fragmented market where inefficiencies, a lack of accountability, and wasted resources fall disproportionately on small owner-operators.
“The past year was an especially challenging one for small and independent truckers, essential parts of the country’s economy who already were facing significant challenges in competing against large carriers and high rates. We created SmartHop to help these businesses thrive, and the need for our platform is stronger than ever today,” said Guillermo Garcia, co-founder and CEO of SmartHop. “This fundraising round will enable us to continue growing our network and enhance our product and team to meet the urgent and evolving needs of small owner-operators so they can retain the control and freedom that brought them to the trucking market.”