By Riley Kaminer and Nancy Dahlberg
Miami-based smart trucking solution SmartHop has secured a $30 million Series B financing round led by Sozo Ventures.
Additional participants include existing South Florida-based investors RyderVentures and Las Olas VC, as well as Union Square Ventures, Greycroft, Equal Ventures, and The Fund. SmartHop plans to use this financing to scale its platform and grow its team.
Since 2018, SmartHop has developed digital tools aimed to help independent trucking businesses and solo drivers increase their revenue. This funding comes on the heels of a $12 million Series A fundraise in February 2021. Cumulatively, SmartHop has raised $46 million thus far.
In 2021, SmartHop experienced significant growth, with over 15,000 loads booked and 14 million miles driven by customers on its platform. Its top truckers earned $370,000 per year – 68% above the industry average. It also expanded its platform, launching a mobile app and new insurance offering, while additionally giving its users access to the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America.
“Trucking is a difficult job for anyone, but for decades it has been especially challenging for smaller trucking companies, leading to burnout and driver churn which, given their crucial role in the nation’s supply chain, has negatively impacted our economy,” Guillermo Garcia, co-founder and CEO of SmartHop, said in a statement.
“Since day one we’ve been laser-focused on supporting small fleets and owner-operators with a single technology platform, and our exceptional growth over the past year indicates SmartHop is not only helping level the playing field but also making their jobs easier and helping their business thrive,” he continued.
The market for SmartHop’s tools is immense: Upwards of 90% of American trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer. These small fleets employ 3 million drivers and move about $500 billion in freight volume annually. The recently-passed bipartisan Infrastructure Bill also included several key provisions for the trucking industry.
That said, the industry faces a series of threats which could negatively affect our nation’s supply chain including administrative burdens, spending too much time driving empty, and low revenues per mile. SmartHop’s products aim to increase drivers’ efficiency and ultimately bolster their bottom line.
In a statement, Sozo Ventures’ Managing Director, Spencer Foust, echoed these systemic issues and the mitigating role SmartHop can play.
“The supply chain nightmares of the past two years have hammered home the crucial role truckers play in the global economy, yet the vast majority of them are hobbled by an antiquated and grossly inefficient system,” said Foust.
“Through its impressive technology platform, vast partner network and stellar team of industry veterans, SmartHop makes it possible for small truckers to work better and get paid better,” Foust continued. “That’s good news for them, and for all of us who depend on their hard work and many sacrifices.”
SmartHop has doubled down on the Miami tech ecosystem. In February, the company opened a new 5,000 square-foot headquarters in Wynwood. It has also opened up satellite offices in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia.
Now with more than 170+ employees around the world, SmartHop plans to add 100 more across all offices by the end of the year, said Garcia, who has called Miami home since leaving his native Venezuela. In Miami, SmartHop employs 35 currently and has space in the new offices to grow to 89.
“Miami has been a tremendous place to start and grow a company,” Garcia said. “Not only has the local government been highly supportive and encouraging of innovation in the city, but the talent in Miami is incredible, which is enabling us to build A-class products for small trucking companies.”
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