Truckstop.com CEO Paris Cole said his team is focused on building “the very best company that we can in providing the most value to our customers as possible.”
“We feel that if we can do that, the outcome will take care of itself, whatever that may be,” Cole said during a Fuller Speed Ahead episode hosted by FreightWaves CEO and founder Craig Fuller.
The title for the chat was “Growth Investments: a successful entry and exit with Paris Cole of Truckstop.com and Phil Yates of Bregal Sagemount.” The conversation centered on the founding and growth of Truckstop.com and what’s next for the 25-year-old company, the largest digital freight marketplace in North America.
“We’re going to talk about the entire journey of what it was like to be a part of the Truckstop.com story and what the future looks like for the Truckstop.com team,” Fuller said.
Scott Moscrip founded Internet Truckstop, now known as Truckstop.com, in 1995 in his basement in New Plymouth, Idaho.
Today, the company has seven offices across the country and more than 400 employees. Truckstop.com’s load board has more than 250,000 active users and handles 80 million annual loads.
In 2016, Bregal Sagemount invested in Truckstop.com, a partnership aimed at helping “open doors” and spread the word about the company.
“Back in 2015, Scott and I and the rest of the leadership team talked about our opportunities going forward, and we realized a couple of things,” Cole said. “One is, being based in New Plymouth, Idaho, it’s not exactly the capital-raising capital of the country; we weren’t really known. We felt like we needed a partner to help us tell our story.”
Another reason for bringing Bregal Sagemount on board was that Truckstop.com officials wanted a partner who had experience in transportation logistics, payments and marketplaces, as well as one who could help them improve operationally.
Cole joined Truckstop.com in 2013, serving as chief financial officer until Moscrip stepped down as CEO in December 2015.
Yates said his firm was attracted to Truckstop.com because they often look for “founder-backed companies.”
“About 85% of the time we’re investing in bootstrapped founder-backed companies,” Yates said. “It has been something that we get to really enjoy. The passion that comes with partnering up with innovative and entrepreneurial management teams is pretty cool stuff.”
New York-based Bregal Sagemount manages multiple funds with more than $3 billion of capital allocated to investments in growth companies.
Yates said the transition for his firm helping Truckstop.com go from being a founder-based company to expanding and growing sales was “really seamless.”
“What was awesome about this transition is that Scott really wanted to transition to being a strategic technology leader in the business away from the chairman seat, and that accelerated Paris’s transition to CEO sort of roughly at the same timing of our transaction,” Yates said.
After Truckstop.com partnered with Bregal Sagemount in 2016, Truckstop.com was able to grow its revenues by 300% in three years, officials said.
“That worked out exceptionally well, because Scott got to focus on what he really jumps out of bed for every day, and Paris got to institutionalize the business in ways that Scott was less excited about,” Yates said.
The company’s growth included going from 10 employees to 85 and scaling the business nationwide, Yates said.
In 2019, Truckstop.com announced that ICONIQ Capital, a leading Silicon Valley growth equity firm, made a majority investment in the company.
In March, FreightWaves and Truckstop.com partnered to provide spot trucking rate market visibility to FreightWaves SONAR subscribers, which offers the world’s fastest freight market data. SONAR aggregates over 150,000 different indexes from all modes of freight movement, allowing freight brokerages to have a view of the entire logistics market.
Fuller asked Cole if an IPO is in the future for Truckstop.com.
“I try not to get too focused on the next outcome,” Cole said. “I really honestly do believe that it will take care of itself if we build a great business, and I love optionality. If we continue on the path that we’re headed down, all options are available to us.”
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