Seattle-based Convoy is out of business after a shocking announcement from founder Dan Lewis.
The company was founded in 2015 to be the Uber of trucking, offering an app-based bidding system to connect suppliers and truckers.
The company attracted all kinds of attention from investors such as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Senator Bill Bradley.
The company was named by Geekwire as the 2017 Start-Up of the Year.
The company had raised nearly $600M in capital investments through three rounds and was seen as a disruptor in the $800B US transportation market.
Through what it billed as a “digital freight network,” the company was able to connect drivers to producers in need of shipping.
Drivers were able to control their own business more effectively this way and find jobs on usually wasteful backhauls where trucks drove back home after a run.
Suppliers seeking a flexible way to ship could place jobs out and select a bidding driver that best fit their needs and schedule.
Then came the downturn and sudden downfall of the tech darling.
The company struggled in the past years to increase revenue in part because the industry itself changed.
A transportation market that was tight five or six years ago has been flooded with extra capacity, making it harder and harder to secure loads.
Many companies have invested in their own fleets for better control of their logistics.
Convoy laid off employees in several rounds over the last year, and the founders were actively seeking a buyer to come in and save the day.
But the sudden announcement that the company had ceased operations and a majority of the remaining staff would be let go came as a shock to many.