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Bezos-backed freight agency Convoy shuts down after slashing heaps of of jobs. Read the CEO’s memo to staff

Dan Lewis, co-founder and CEO of trucking logistics startup Convoy and a weak Amazon govt, speaking at the CNBC Expertise Government Council summit it Unusual York City on Oct. 29, 2019.

Astrid Stawiarz/CNBC

Digital freight broker Convoy told staff Thursday that it be shutting down operations which ability that of a “big freight recession.” The switch comes real one week after supply chain tool startup Flexport stated this would possibly impartial lay off about 20% of its grasp personnel.

Seattle-primarily based Convoy was as soon as primarily based to disrupt the fragmented, low-tech freight brokerage enterprise, by which truckers and possibilities associated by mobile phone and fax. Sooner than this week, the firm had about 500 staff.

Convoy is a 5-time CNBC Disruptor 50 firm that ranked No. 47 on this year’s listing.

Since the height of supply chain points and build a query to spikes during the Covid-19 pandemic, which ended in soaring prices in the logistics plight, trucking charges like approach relief down, putting off what was as soon as diagram to had been a tailwind for Convoy’s on-build a query to technology. The firm, equivalent to other startups both internal and beyond the freight sector, done a pair of rounds of layoffs over the past year and slit an Atlanta situation of enterprise.

All the way via a tricky 2022 for the sphere, Convoy secured a $260 million round of unusual capital from investors, led by U.K.-primarily based Baillie Gifford and Hercules Capital, whereas JPMorgan prolonged a $150 million line of credit ranking to Convoy, valuing it at $3.8 billion real 18 months previously.

Convoy is bustle by co-founder and CEO Dan Lewis, who formerly led novel purchasing experiences at Amazon and sooner than that worked at Microsoft. In response to a memo despatched to staff Thursday morning, Lewis stated the firm faced both an “unparalleled freight market crumple” and “dramatic financial tightening.”

“This combination come what would possibly beaten our progress at the identical time that it was as soon as crushing our logical strategic acquirer — it was as soon as the ideally suited storm.”

Right here is the paunchy memo:


As you are all conscious, over the past few days we had been taking actions to minimize disruptions to shippers and carriers by guaranteeing that one and all in-transit shipments procure to their correct destinations. Thanks to all americans who stayed centered and acquired it performed. As typical, you guys accomplish amazing work. With that action nearing completion, Convoy can be closing down its unusual core enterprise operations. Some of our crew will continue on to tackle this windup transition and skill future strategic alternate choices (all whom like already been spoken with), as of late is your closing day at the firm.

We hoped for the time being would never approach. We spent over 4 months onerous all viable strategic alternate choices for the enterprise. Alternatively, none of the alternate choices come what would possibly materialized into something ample to preserve the firm coming into into its then unusual grasp.

So, what came about? In rapid, we’re in the center of a huge freight recession and a contraction in the capital markets. This combination come what would possibly beaten our progress at the identical time that it was as soon as crushing our logical strategic acquirer – it was as soon as the ideally suited storm.

Convoy’s tech centric technique to trucking created real advantages. It additionally created the prerequisites for a indubitably scalable technology platform and enterprise model that would possibly like yielded real financial beneficial properties when market prerequisites beef up. However come what would possibly, market forces were too sturdy for us to stand as a lot as on our grasp.

We moved all enterprise levers attainable. However we were running up the down escalator…. and it saved speeding up. So despite your mighty work on our product and restore innovation, broad revenue utilizing efforts, and the painful and sweeping worth cuts you like had to suffer, it was as soon as aloof no longer ample to procure us into the financial situation main to stand as a lot as the rising pressures of the alternate, with out the want for out of doors funding.

Alongside this unparalleled freight market crumple, the dramatic financial tightening we like considered over the closing 18 months has dramatically dampened funding bustle for food and shriveled flows into unprofitable uninteresting stage non-public firms. Add to that, amidst these freight and financial prerequisites, M&A assignment has shriveled considerably and most of logical strategic acquirers of Convoy are additionally struggling from the freight market crumple, making the deal doing that noteworthy extra difficult.

The superb storm.

Following an exhaustive job, spanning many, many months wherein we explored all viable strategic alternate choices for the enterprise, the final result is the set we’re as of late. Convoy is closing the doorways on its unusual core enterprise operations and exploring and evaluating strategic alternate choices for what would possibly approach subsequent.

The work it is possible you’ll like all performed will traipse away its ticket on the freight alternate perpetually. This alternate desires to modernize. Shippers prefer it, carriers prefer it, and the market desires it. We aloof factor in that this would possibly impartial additionally be the future for this alternate.

As I real shared on our name, I think the enviornment of you. At some stage in the final few months I experienced some of the excellent highs and lowest lows in enterprise, but all the way via it I remained motivated attributable to the excellent folk at Convoy who gave me inspiration each day. You guys rock.



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