Watch Now

SmartHop hires Uber alum Liu, opens New York, Colombia offices

Expansion follows fresh round of funding earlier in 2021

SmartHop has tapped Amy Liu, formerly of Uber Elevate, as chief of staff and to help build out its New York office. The company also announced the opening of an office in Bogota, Colombia. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Following a $12 million funding round announced in February, SmartHop is moving forward quickly with new hires and expansion of its services.

The company, which uses artificial intelligence to deliver smart load recommendations, full-service back-office support and fintech products for small trucking companies, announced the appointment of Amy Liu as chief of staff. Liu is the first employee in the company’s new New York City office.

SmartHop also announced the opening of an office in Bogota, Colombia.

Since the start of the year, Miami-based SmartHop has grown its employee headcount 31%, it said, and expects to double its total headcount by the end of the year.  

“As SmartHop continues to enhance our solution and expand our headcount, Amy brings tremendously valuable experience in operations and logistics to our team,” said Guillermo Garcia, CEO and co-founder of SmartHop. “I’m thrilled Amy decided to join and help SmartHop deliver on our mission to help level the playing field for independent owner-operators.”

Liu comes to SmartHop from Uber Elevat, where she served as the senior marketplace operations manager. She is the latest former Uber alum to join SmartHop. Jeff Ogren, head of marketing, and JP Restrepo, general manager, are also in the SmartHop executive ranks. Prior to Uber, Liu was an operations analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she worked on the sales and trading business.

Read: Union Square Ventures and RyderVentures back SmartHop’s $12M funding round

“Legacy trucking enterprises have the means to digitally transform, but this can’t come at the expense of independent drivers and owner-operators who traditionally have not been equipped with the same resources,” said Liu. “SmartHop’s mission to help the smaller players — which make up a majority of the trucking industry — drove my decision to join the company. I’m excited to work alongside Guillermo and this growing team to create a positive impact for drivers and level the playing field to help them thrive.” 

SmartHop was founded by Garcia, who worked as a pet food delivery driver in his native Venezuela. He turned that driving job into a 500-person trucking company before coming to the U.S.

SmartHop has partnerships in place with Loadsmart, Redwood Logistics and Parade. SmartHop’s product road map for 2021 includes the launch of Copilot, a technology-assisted dispatch tool that it said will help plan better, more profitable routes with higher-paying loads and that will suggest options for the next load so truckers can plan their next move.

The company said that its customers have increased their top lines by least 9% compared to the average market standards and it has boosted drivers’ take-home pay by more than 48%.

In February, SmartHop announced the close of a $12 million Series A funding round, led by Union Square Ventures and supported by  RyderVentures, Equal Ventures and Greycroft. The new funding round brings SmartHop’s total funding to $16.5 million following a July 2020 $4.5 million round led by Equal Ventures with Greycroft and Las Olas VC also participating.

SmartHop closes $4.5M seed round to help small trucking businesses compete

Ryder backs supply chain tech with $50M venture fund

SmartHop gives small trucking companies seat at table — and above-market rates

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]