Alphabet gets into trucking tech
Google parent Alphabet has joined a list of prominent backers – including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos – in a trucking technology venture: Convoy. The latest funding round, which saw the Silicon Valley giant add its name to Convoy’s roster of investors, values the startup at “more than $1 billion” according to Bloomberg. It’s not the first time that Alphabet has backed an Uber competitor, as relationships with that company soured. Google was an early investor in Uber, but its Waymo division now competes with Uber, and bad blood between the companies has played out in court.
Alphabet’s share price has risen by more than 11% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Uber rivalry aside, Convoy remains an interesting play for a market that Alphabet wants a part of. The company makes software that connects shippers to truckers in the same way that Uber and Lyft’s software connects riders to drivers. According to Convoy, its software gives shippers a few big advantages: it helps them get better prices, track deliveries, and lets smaller companies plan jobs more effectively. The company has over 500 shipping clients, including giant businesses like Unilever.
Alphabet invests in Convoy via its CapitalG growth equity fund. David Lawee, a CapitalG partner, will join Convoy’s board. According to Lawee, this investment has been a long time coming, and recent successes forced CapitalG to finally take a stake in the smaller business. He said: "It's no longer a theory that they could drive efficiencies. They are actually driving efficiencies.”
Dan Lewis, Convoy’s CEO and co-founder, explained the company’s goals, and why they’re attractive to investors: "When you think about what sucks about being a truck driver and what sucks about being a shipper, we want to actually build a bunch of software that solves a lot of those problems. When we do that, companies are more excited about working with Convoy.”
Dominion holds Alphabet in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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