Convoy Inc. and Self Driving Vehicles – Skip Sanzeri

Today I read an article regarding a company called convoy, Inc. which seems to be one of the leaders in self driving commercial vehicles. I think specifically they work with semi trailers and seem to be making a lot of progress.  This is just Skip Sanzeri’s opinion.

It looks like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos invested recently but they also secured investments from other big names such as Marc Benioff of salesforce.com and Henry Kravis of KKR. I haven’t seen too many early-stage companies get backing from people like this.

This company, deemed “Uber for trucking” promises to cut significant costs of long-haul trucking since there are no driver’s wages involved. The company is raise over $80 million since starting in 2015 but has a long way to go since even Uber, raised more than $15 billion since it started.

Also expect a lot of competition. There is another company called Trucker Path which also promises autonomous trucking.

Currently the company is fulfilling thousands of shipments and generating billions of dollars of sales per week. Evidently they are doubling every quarter according to the report cited below. They started working in the Pacific Northwest but obviously will look at expanding across the nation. I would expect to see operations of the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Southeast as well.

Funny that this latest funding route was led by Y, combinator and their continuity fund which is a first for them to invest outside of Silicon Valley. But I think they can obviously pick a great deal of this looks like one of them.

According to the article the US trucking market is worth about $800 billion and has tons of inefficiencies. Due to logistics issues etc., it seems that there’s about 30% waste across the industry as trucks drive a good portion of the time empty. The whole idea is to cut costs and also pollution by reducing down unnecessary roots.

Of course there is a downside that drivers will no longer be necessary and unfortunately for those drivers, I think this will be true. The same goes for all public transportation really if you think about it. Uber and Lyft are both working on self driving fleets, and Apple and Google of course are spending a lot of resources in AI technology for self driving vehicles.

It’s not hard to predict that in coming years, self driving vehicles will become more prevalent, than the norm. There are a ton of ramifications here for automobile sales as well as not sure that the younger generations will ever need to buy a car. Transportation will be like electricity, a pure utility with value, but low-cost.

I guess we will have to see how this goes.

 

Here is the article for reference:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bill-gates-backs-uber-freight-070007852.html

Skip Sanzeri is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has helped a variety of startups launch, grow and exit. In addition he has funded and launched a few of his own companies. Skip started his entrepreneurial career at an early age buying a Gold’s Gym in the San Francisco Bay Area. He then expanded to a total of 6 clubs and converted the brand to California Athletic Clubs before exiting via a sale of the franchise to 24 hour fitness. He then helped grow the IAC division of Ziff-Davis publishing to $250 million, after which it was sold to Thomson Publishing. Skip continued his entrepreneurial career with Sequoia Capital – backed Quote.com which was acquired by Lycos. Skip then founded and funded the first open source strategy firm – Open Source Group. Throughout his career, Skip has helped other startups, launch, grow and exit. Skip earned his bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College, and then followed on with a Master’s in Public Administration from the college of Notre Dame. He lives in San Mateo, California and is a native of San Francisco. In his spare time Skip enjoys baseball, yoga and studying quantum physics. Education: Claremont McKenna College Education: College of Notre Dame Employment: AlerSense - 2016-Present

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