Convoy is putting a little more gas in the tank.
The Seattle startup, which matches trucking companies with shippers that need to move freight, has hired Uber’s former Seattle Software Engineering chief Tim Prouty as head of engineering.
Obviously, there are interesting parallels to the work Prouty performed at Uber, and those at Convoy, which sometimes gets described as the “Uber of trucking.”
Prouty opened Uber’s engineering office in Seattle in 2015, growing that office to more than 150. A University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering alum, Prouty served as director of engineering at EMC’s Isilon Storage Division prior to Uber.
“Tim founded Uber’s Seattle engineering office and drove growth from zero to 150+ people in 18 months, and we’re excited for him to help us take on extreme growth at Convoy as well,” said Convoy co-founder and CTO Grant Goodale in an email to GeekWire. Convoy now employs 85 people, and it is moving to a new 20,000 square office space in March. That marks the company’s 7th move in two years.
Goodale said that they continue to attract top talent from companies like Uber, Amazon and Google.
“Tim saw an opportunity to build the world’s best engineering team headquartered here in Seattle, tackling an enormous $800 billion opportunity with potential global impact,” said Goodale. Added Prouty: “I couldn’t be more excited to join the world-class Convoy team and contribute to building a transformative company here in Seattle.”
The hiring of Prouty is a big shot in the arm for Convoy, which is one of Seattle’s fastest-growing and hottest startups. The company was chosen as a Seattle 10 finalist at last year’s GeekWire Gala, recognizing up-and-coming Seattle area startups.
Last year, the company pulled in $16 million in venture capital from Greylock, Jeff Bezos’ venture capital firm Bezos Expeditions, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, eBay Motors founder Simon Rothman and Code.org co-founder Hadi Partovi.
Convoy is led by CEO Dan Lewis, who previously served as general manager of new shopping experiences at Amazon. In an interview with GeekWire last year, we asked Lewis about the parallels between Convoy and Uber, and here’s what he said.
The biggest parallel, I think, is that Uber made it lower cost and higher service levels by using technology. I think that, when we think about this business, that is the most important thing we can do. We can actually increase the service levels. We can make it easier for truckers to get more work. We can make it easier for shippers to have trucks on short notice, and know where their trucks are, which is something they don’t usually know today. We can actually offer those better levels of service for a lower price. That’s what Uber did.
The other thing is — a big difference, I would say — is that Uber had to essentially go out there and build all their capacity. They had to go get people to drive cars. They had to set up this whole system that didn’t really exist before. One of the things that’s really nice, in our world, is that we’re working with existing trucking companies. These guys are already out there running two or three trucks, trying to grow their business, and they’re looking for work. We can sign up a lot of these entrepreneurs and get them more work without having to sort of go build that from scratch.