April 24, 2019

KeepTruckin lands $149 million investment from Google Ventures, others

ELD and fleet management provider plans expansion into intelligent freight matching, firm says.

By DC Velocity Staff

Fleet management technology provider KeepTruckin Inc. has landed a whopping $149 million investment, sending ripples through the cutthroat pool of online freight-matching providers by announcing its intention to accelerate the development of its "Smart Load Board" tool.

The "series D" investment round was led by Greenoaks Capital, with participation from existing investors Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Google Ventures (GV), Index Ventures, and Scale Venture Partners. The latest round brings the company's total funding to $228 million.

That team of investors includes some familiar names for those who follow the cataracts of capital rushing into the logistics sector. GV, which is the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc., has backed the automated piece-picking startup RightHand Robotics Inc. in a $23 million round and the last-mile parcel company Deliv in a $40 million round. IVP has previously invested in Mulesoft and Uber, and Scale's participation comes just a day after the venture capital firm helped back warehouse automation provider Locus Robotics in a $26 million round.

More specific to the intelligent freight matching sector, tens of millions of dollars have flowed over the past year to startups such as Convoy, Cargomatic Inc., Transfix, and Uber Freight, even as entrenched, traditional freight brokers like C.H. Robinson and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. double down on investments in their own digital tools.

San Francisco-based KeepTruckin will use its new funds to fuel its growth through increased hiring, investing in hardware, building partnerships, and furthering advancements in machine learning, the company said. KeepTruckin's platform connects vehicles, drivers, and fleet managers through products including electronic logging devices (ELDs), an electronic logbook app for smartphones, and a smart dashcam. The firm's App Marketplace also offers products across 10 categories, including transportation management system (TMS) software, navigation, fuel management, and maintenance.

Backed by its new capital, KeepTruckin now plans to nearly double its headcount from "more than 1,000" today to "more than 2,000" over the next 18 months, while opening multiple new offices in North America, CEO and Co-Founder Shoaib Makani said in a blog post.

The company will also steer resources toward its Smart Load Board, a platform designed to "bring together those who need capacity with those who need loads," based on the data generated by the KeepTruckin-brand ELDs installed in more than 250,000 vehicles and 50,000 for-hire carriers, Makani said. KeepTruckin also plans to launch a Smart Dashcam product that offers driver-coaching capabilities to promote safer driving and prevent collisions, as well as a Trailer Gateway asset-tracking product, he said.

That may sounds like a long list of innovative products for an industry that simply moves boxes from Point A to Point B, but KeepTruckin's backers say the freight sector is overdue for an IT overhaul. "Trucking is forecasted to be a $1 trillion industry by 2024 and is the backbone of the global economy, yet has been underserved by technology. But change is coming and KeepTruckin is at the leading edge," Neil Mehta, founder and managing partner of Greenoaks Capital, said in a release. "KeepTruckin is building the technology that trucking companies need to compete in the modern economy. The network that KeepTruckin has built will enable it to change the way freight is moved on our roads."

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