Today's pickup: Convoy becomes a unicorn with $185 million Series C

  Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Good day,

Convoy just closed its $185 million Series C to a reach a $1 billion valuation and become a unicorn. The growth equity investment fund of Google parent company Alphabet, CapitalG, led this round of Convoy’s capital raise, bringing the digital brokerage’s total funding raised so far to more than $265 million.

FreightWaves Associate Editor John Paul Hampstead spoke to Andrew Davis, VP and Equity Investment Analyst at T. Rowe Price about the deal.

“Our view is they’ve made a dramatic amount of progress in terms of the business model and proof points,” said Davis told Hampstead. “I’ve seen their ability to take data and create analytics around it at a pace and confidence interval that I think is unique.”

Convoy was not looking for the most money at the highest valuation during this round. Instead, they sought out people who had the right combination of capital, partnership and guidance, according to Davis.

“In five years, Convoy will be demonstrably bigger. Their ability to scale from where they are right now is really exceptional,” Davis concluded.

Did you know?

The Port of Savannah has handled 2.8 million containers year-to-date, a 7.4 percent increase over the same period last year.

Quotable:

“The provenance of cargo is of increasing importance. Hopefully, blockchain can improve the speed and efficacy of our operations,” Dunn said.

--Associated British Port’s head of communications Andrew Dunn said in regard to testing the use of blockchain to facilitate trade.

In other news:

U.S. stocks follow global markets higher

U.S. stocks extended their gains Friday, rising in tandem with markets from China to Germany, capping a week where investors looked past international trade tensions. (Wall Street Journal)

Tesla Model 3 sedan aces all U.S. safety agency’s crash tests

The results are in, and Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 sedan has been awarded five stars in all crash tests conducted by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (Bloomberg)

U.S. ‘very close’ to proceeding with Mexico-only trade deal

The United States is getting “very, very close” to having to move forward on its trade deal with Mexico without Canada, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Friday. (Reuters)

Hey, Alexa, why is Amazon making a microwave?

If you’re one of the millions of people without a smart speaker in your home, Amazon wants to talk to you (New York Times)

Legal weed sales could top C$1 billion in Canada’s opening quarter

Canadians are projected to spend C$1 billion ($775 million) on legal marijuana in the final three months of this year after the market opens next month. (Bloomberg)

Final thoughts:

Delivery of new truck orders is expected to continue ramping up in the coming months, but J.D. Power Senior Analyst Chris Visser expects the current new truck cycle will remain hot for the for at least two more quarters.

While the record-breaking order rate reflects more build slot reservations than legitimate need, deliveries are still below their predicted peak.

“The last time orders dramatically increased over a multi-month period was late 2014, with orders peaking at just under 46,000 units. In following months, actual deliveries increased to slightly over 25,000, then delivered rather quickly,” the report reads. “Today, orders have crested 52,000 units, but deliveries are struggling to hit 23,000. If we assume economic and regulatory factors have created a need for roughly 50 percent more trucks today versus 2014, actual need should be 37,500 units per month.”

Those calculations mean OEMs still have a significant amount of headroom before they begin meeting demand.

J.D. Power is forecasting more new truck deliveries in the coming months, but demand is still expected to outpace supply into the second quarter of 2019.

Hammer down, everyone!