Seattle-based trucking startup Convoy today announced a multi-year strategic partnership deal with Anheuser-Busch to help the brewing giant move its product across the country.
Convoy will serve as a key business partner and trucking service provider for Anheuser-Busch, which employs more than 18,000 people across the U.S. and operates 21 breweries, 21 distributorships and 22 agricultural and packaging facilities. The partnership will help “drive increased wages for truck drivers and reduce empty miles on the road,” the companies said in the announcement.
Founded in 2015, Convoy is one of Seattle’s fastest-growing startups. The company operates an on-demand technology-fueled network that matches truck drivers with available jobs. It has raised $80 million to date from investors like Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi, former Starbucks president Howard Behar, Expedia Chairman Barry Diller, and others.
“Convoy’s data management platform has the potential to uncover valuable business insights for us by recording the DNA of shipments from order creation to delivery,” Ties Soeters, vice president of logistics procurement at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. “These insights allow Anheuser-Busch to make better, data-driven decisions so that we can improve our processes across our supply chain and create better jobs for truck drivers.”
Convoy, which won Startup of the Year at the 2017 GeekWire Awards, initially worked with smaller shippers doing short routes on the west coast. But it is now inking deals with Fortune 500 companies like Anheuser-Busch and Unilever. The startup, which works with 10,000 trucking carriers and makes money by keeping a percentage of each transaction, recently expanded to the Northeast and expects to be fully national soon.
Convoy competitors include Uber, which recently launched Uber Freight. There’s also freight-booking startups like Transfix, which raised a $42 million round earlier this year, and uShip, which raised $25 million in February. That’s all in addition to incumbents like publicly-traded freight broker giant C.H. Robinson, which posted $13.1 billion in revenue last year but saw its shares drop in July after reporting less-than-expected profits due to “truckload margin compression.”