Now five years into its journey, logistics startup Turvo is gaining traction, has landed a high-profile client for its product in Ryder System (NYSE: R), and is focused on transforming what visibility means for a freight industry traditionally focused on silos.
“Visibility is not just a dot on the map, it’s how do you connect it to the organization,” Turvo founder Jeff Dangelo explained to FreightWaves. “There’s context around it. If this [delivery] is late, am I going to miss a sales deadline? It’s more than a blue dot [on a screen].”
Turvo is a “collaborative logistics platform” that is designed to bring order to chaos. It launched its logistics platform in 2017. The platform allows shippers, brokers and carriers to work together in real-time, providing shipment visibility, artificial intelligence (Al)-powered productivity tools, and secure collaboration, the company said.
“While other solutions focus on narrower aspects of logistics, such as on-demand trucking, freight forwarding, or track-and-trace of goods, Turvo spans the entire supply chain from orders and shipments to invoices and payments,” the company said at the time.
Dangelo said building the infrastructure that allows all parties to communicate seamlessly is harder than most people think.
Getting the infrastructure right
“The network infrastructure is the hardest thing to start with,” he said. “You have to think who the audiences are you are starting with. It’s not just adding modules, but how will brokers, ports, truck drivers [and more] interact. They are all going to have their own views so when you build a solution, you have to think how [it is] going to be effective.”
Launched in 2015, Turvo received an initial $25 million in Series A financing led by Activant Capital, with participation from existing investors Felicis Ventures, Upside Partnership, Slow Ventures and Tony Fadell. In the summer of 2019, Turvo acquired ODYN, an AI-enabled visibility platform with the goal of accelerating the integration of connected sensors to its platform.
Just this month, Turvo was chosen by Ryder to backbone a new digital platform called RyderShare. The technology integrates data from multiple transportation and warehouse management systems into a single platform and allows all parties involved in a supply chain to easily see potential problems and inefficiencies and take real-time action to course correct, Ryder said.
According to Ryder, early customers have reduced emails and phone calls for an increase of up to 50% in productivity; a 35% labor efficiency savings with improved ability to plan receiving dock labor; and instant revenue recognition through document capture that includes real-time proof of delivery that reduces document delays by as many as five days. One customer, Ryder said, boosted its on-time performance rating from 95% to 99%.
Dangelo said the company now has 28,000 organizations interacting with Turvo’s solutions in some capacity, including nearly 1,000 companies like Ryder that are using the product as a key technology for their operation.
Providing necessary context
Turvo’s cloud-based technology allows users to connect to apps, data and devices either on-premises or in the cloud and manage the data movement with API-driven access calls. It connects to popular business applications including SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Workday, QuickBooks and Xero.
The technology also adds context to “every aspect of the interface, providing situational awareness to take quick actions from anywhere,” it said.
“Instead of managing every shipment, we created exception management and tell users what [they need to know],” Dangelo said of the solution that Ryder has implemented. “We’re giving everyone a common toolset so you can not only digitize [but communicate].”
Dangelo provided a use case example of a customer that had 50 vendors it wanted to connect, but found that creating even a single order required all parties to recreate that order for their individual systems, leading to duplicate work and a drain on both time and money.
“To do EDI (electronic data interchange) for 50 vendors going just one way, it’s going to cost $50,000, and to do it in the other direction it’s going to cost another $50,000,” Dangelo said, noting that the client gave everyone a copy of Turvo. “If everyone has Turvo, it makes everything beautiful. It’s like a painting and… everything can be automated.”
The solution is designed to “play nice” with everyone in the supply chain, regardless of whether they have Turvo. In this particular case, Turvo added an integration to Oracle. By adding everyone to the shipment information, Turvo is able to share the critical documents throughout the chain with a technology called Mesh.
“Every view of data based on how [the party] is participating is going to be different,” Dangelo said. “Relationships between parties can be different, which is how each user gets a different view – they see the need related to their business and role in the supply chain.”
Turvo is able to automate the entire process, Dangelo said, including billing and payment, and digitization of contracts.
Turvo’s leadership team includes veterans of Microsoft, Apple, Google and Salesforce.
Other investors include: G2VP; Mubadala; Next47; Aaron Levie, co-founder & CEO of Box; Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of the Bank of Baroda and former chairman of Microsoft India; Kevin Nazemi, co-founder of Renew; Gokul Rajaram, engineering executive at Square; and Eva Ho, founding general partner at Fika Ventures.
Last November, Scott Lang came on board to serve as chairman and CEO. He was previously the executive chairman and CEO of Silver Spring Networks, a San Jose, California-based smart grid network product provider. Dangelo believes Lang has already played a pivotal role in helping focus Turvo for future growth.
“We spent the first five years on engineering and not enough on the [customer],” Dangelo said. “Scott’s bringing in a team that has built companies from scratch to public and that experience is going to benefit us as we scale.”
As Turvo grows, Dangelo said it will continue to focus on third-party logistics providers and shippers, but is also building tools to assist truckers “so they can be loved in the ecosystem; I don’t think they get the love they deserve,” he said.
“If you give people a common toolset, they can do the work for you,” Dangelo said. “They become more profitably because they’ve used Turvo to automate.”
Turvo is a direct replacement for a transportation management system for brokers, and something that is needed in the marketplace, Dangelo noted, “because we need a new way to talk about an operating system in the industry” that is not siloed.