Trucker Path Raises $30m Debt Funding to Overhaul Truck Industry
Silicon Valley-based Trucker Path released a crowd-sourced navigation app for truck drivers in late 2013. The crowd-sourced Trucker Path application has grown to become America’s largest community of truck drivers with over 550,000 active users or 33 percent of all Class 8 truckers. In 2015 Trucker Path secured $20 million in Series A funding. The exponential growth of the app led to the release of an online freight platform that connects carriers with freight companies (brokers, shippers) in March 2016. Hailed ‘the Uber for Trucks’, the Trucker Path team strives to improve efficiencies in the freight transportation industry while making life on the road easier, enjoyable, and more profitable for truck drivers.
Valley based Trucker Path recently announced a $30mn debt funding line for truckers, backed by Flexible Funding in San Francisco.
We interviewed Ivan Tsybaev, CEO and founder of Trucker Path, to find out more.
Tell us a bit about you, your history, why you set up Trucker Path
“I had a logistics company (exports from the U.S.) and noticed how Uber and Lyft emerged in the taxi industry. I also knew from my trucker friends how much the trucking industry needed technology (especially mobile). So we started with creating value for truck drivers and created Trucker Path as crowdsourced navigation to help drivers find truck stops, available parking, check fuel prices, etc. The app became very popular and we were able to raise venture capital to offer new products. In 2016 we launched a freight marketplace and later started adding relevant services (for example freight factoring). Our goal is simple – make truckers’ lives easier and more beneficial.”
Trucker Path has 3 products:
- Trucker Path app for navigation – 550,000 monthly active users (35% of all U.S. long haul truckers)
- Truckloads – freight marketplace that matches trucking companies (carriers) with freight – we have 100,000 trucking companies on the platform
- InstaPay – financial services to help trucking companies manage their cashflows
Who is Trucker Path for, and what problem are you solving?
Who Trucker Path is for:
- truck drivers (we have 550,000 active users in the navigational app)
- trucking companies (100,000 clients)
- brokers and shippers (we have over 700 companies)
What problems Trucker Path solves
On average truckers drive empty 30% of the time because they can’t find a load that’s nearby and fits their requirements. When they haul, truckers waste time looking for truck parking and rest areas, up to an hour daily on average. Finally, after they deliver they have to wait 30-60 days to get paid by their clients. Such experience is common and frustrating as it limits their ability to make money.
How we solve the above problems
“Trucker Path allows carriers find freight instantly and offers essential services such as truck navigation and financial products. By offering a single place to find all freight from brokers and shippers, the startup brings better visibility to trucking companies, hence they need less time to find a load and that load is much closer. When a trucker hauls he saves time by using Trucker Path’s unique crowdsourced navigation app to find truck parking, rest areas, and fuel stations (we save about 11 hrs per trucker per month). After they complete a delivery, Trucker Path pays drivers within 1-2 days, so they don’t have to wait months to receive funds.”
Tell us a bit about the Trucking Industry in the US – how big is the market, and what disruptive innovation potential is there?
There 3 things to know about the trucking industry:
- It’s enormous with $726B in annual revenues (2015)
- It’s fragmented with 90% of trucking companies operating <6 trucks. There are over 1M trucking companies in America
- It’s inefficient with lots of middlemen, paperwork, phone calls. Truckers drive empty 30% of the time.
What is factoring, and why have Trucker Path gone into Factoring?
“Carriers usually have to wait 30-60 days to receive payment for the load that they’ve already hauled. Since most of trucking companies are small, they can afford such cash flows. We basically pay them now and collect from their clients at the appropriate time (i.e. in 30-60 days). For that service we charge a flat commission per load. We have gone into factoring because it helps trucking companies a lot be eliminating the need to do billing collection. In addition, it’s an important piece of an automated marketplace.
Can you give as some examples of the types of businesses you are helping through factoring provision, parking and freight services?
Factoring is mostly used by smaller trucking companies (oftentimes owner operators – individual truckers who own authority to haul)
Parking info helps long hail truck drivers. By knowing when and where to stop they can plan better, save time, and have peace of mind. Our parking availability info is crowdsourced from our user input and it’s the only working solution to find truck parking in America.”
What’s next for Trucker Path?
“We are introducing additional services onto the platform to make a single eco system where carriers, brokers and shippers can work together in real time. We are rolling out freight tracking in the coming weeks (it’s already in beta) and are in negotiations with insurance providers to create an insurance marketplace for our clients.
Currently we are raising series B to scale enterprise sales, engineering and partially fund the financial services.”