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TruckSmarter raises $25M to grow owner-operator ‘ecosystem’

Company plans to use investment to expand finance solutions for drivers

TruckSmarter co-founders: CTO Paolo Bernasconi (left) and CEO Daniel Kao. Photo: (TruckSmarter)

Digital trucking platform TruckSmarter announced it has closed a $25 million Series B funding round led by Thrive Capital with participation from Bain Capital, FJ Labs, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and Fin Capital to continue building on its dedicated platform for owner-operator functions.

Since 2021, the company has raised $44 million from many investors in the latest round and other industry angel investors including Ryan Petersen (Flexport), Tony Xu (DoorDash), Eric Glyman (Ramp), and Jett McCandless and Jason Duboe (project44).

What attracted these investors and industry tycoons is the straightforward, driver-centric approach the co-founders, CEO Daniel Kao and CTO Paolo Bernasconi, have chosen to build out their FreightTech solution.

“Since the beginning, we have put the needs of the truck driver first. Not just from a large carrier perspective but through the eyes of the owner-operator — the entrepreneur,” Kao told FreightWaves. “So let’s go and meet the [driver] where they are and build a platform for them. As a result, we have continued to scale without carrying acquisition costs and by building the business organically.”

SONAR ticker TCTCO (Total Count of Tractors in Fleets with 1-6 Power Units) showcases growth in small fleets since 2018.
To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

To meet these small carrier needs, the digital platform provides users with access to the company’s free load board with loads from vetted sources and factoring services with 1.5% nonrecourse month-to-month terms, which TruckSmarter pulls its revenue from.

With its new capital, TruckSmarter looks to soon add more finance and banking tools to its “driver ecosystem,” says Kao.


Funding detailsTruckSmarter
Funding amount$25 million
Funding roundSeries B
Lead investorThrive Capital
Secondary investorsBain Capital, FJ Labs, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and Fin Capital
Business goals for the roundBring on new talent to build out more solutions for its driver ecosystem
Post-money valuation$150 million*
Total funding$44 million
*According to Pitchbook data

“This has been an opportunistic round for us. We haven’t even spent our seed money when we raised this round and we continue to see quite a bit of growth through our platform,” said Kao. “Our goal now is to stay laser-focused on the key problems that our truck drivers see every single day and build the right solutions for them within our ecosystem.”

When it comes to scaling the number of users, Kao believes word-of-mouth will continue to accelerate TruckSmarter’s user count.

“Let’s have drivers talk to us organically because we feel a lot of drivers get their information through trusted drivers in their community — a community we are excited to now be a part of,” said Kao.

TruckSmarter’s driver ecosystem. (Photo: TruckSmarter)

The investors share the owner-operators’ excitement about having TruckSmarter in their communities.

“TruckSmarter is on track to serve over 100,000 truckers in the U.S. this year, evidence of the company’s powerful value proposition,” said Matias Van Thienen, partner at Founders Fund. “Their truck-first mentality is the right approach to win the highly fragmented road freight industry.”


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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]
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