After selling autonomous driving startup Scotty Labs to DoorDash just five months ago, entrepreneur Tobenna Arodiogbu is back with a new startup. This time, he's focused solely on truck drivers and their businesses. CloudTrucks, which aims to help truck drivers earn more money, has closed a $6.1 million round led by Craft Ventures with participation from Khosla Ventures, Kindred Ventures and Abstract Ventures.
Described as a "business in a box," CloudTrucks is designed to make it easier for truck owners and operators to run their businesses. Through software and data science, CloudTrucks aims to reduce operating costs for truck drivers and improve revenue, cash-flow and costs.
In the U.S., about 91% of fleets are small businesses, operating six or fewer trucks, according to the American Trucking Associations. Last year, almost 800 trucking businesses went bankrupt in the U.S. Analysts attribute that to a rise in insurance costs and excess supply, which drove shipping rates down. Additionally, operators are tasked with managing safety programs, invoicing and other paperwork. This is where CloudTrucks comes in.
"CloudTrucks focuses on the owner-operator and small trucking companies because they are the lifeblood of the industry and facing the largest pressures with fast-rising insurance rates, predatory factoring options and a quickly changing landscape," Arodiogbu told TechCrunch.
Already, CloudTrucks has a small number of early customers to fine-tune the platform. The startup is accepting new customers on a case-by-case basis.
Prior to CloudTrucks, Arodiogbu co-founded Scotty Labs to enable humans to virtually control cars and trucks. The idea was to assist drivers in long-haul trips. Before DoorDash's acquisition of the startup, Scotty Labs had raised $6 million in funding. Now, Arodiogbu serves as an advisor to DoorDash.
"Tobenna is a proven entrepreneur and product thinker with a clear vision of the problem CloudTrucks intends to solve," Craft co-founder and general partner David Sacks said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Trucking is at the heart of the American economy and yet technology still plays a very small role. We are excited to support the entire CloudTrucks team as they build the platform that will increase revenue and efficiency for thousands of owner-operator truck drivers.”