Bezos-backed freight firm Convoy shuts down after slashing hundreds of jobs — read the CEO’s memo to employees

Digital freight dealer Convoy instructed employees Thursday that it is shutting down operations due to a “large freight recession.” The transfer comes only one week after provide chain software program startup Flexport said it will lay off about 20% of its own workforce.

Seattle-based Convoy was based to disrupt the fragmented, low-tech freight brokerage enterprise, by which truckers and prospects linked by telephone and fax. Before this week, the firm had round 500 employees.

Since the peak of supply chain issues and demand spikes during the pandemic, which led to soaring prices in the logistics area, trucking charges have come again down, eradicating what was thought to have been a tailwind for Convoy’s on-demand expertise. The firm, comparable to different startups each inside and past the freight sector, performed a number of rounds of layoffs over the previous 12 months and lower an Atlanta workplace.

During a troublesome 2022 for the sector, Convoy secured a $260 million spherical of new capital from traders, led by U.Okay.-based Baillie Gifford and Hercules Capital, whereas JPMorgan prolonged a $150 million line of credit score to Convoy, valuing it at $3.8 billion simply 18 months in the past.

Convoy is run by co-founder and CEO Dan Lewis, who previously led new purchasing experiences at Amazon and earlier than that labored at Microsoft. According to a memo despatched to employees Thursday morning, Lewis stated the firm confronted each an “unprecedented freight market collapse” and “dramatic financial tightening.”

“This mixture in the end crushed our progress at the identical time that it was crushing our logical strategic acquirer — it was the good storm.”


As you are all conscious, over the previous few days we have been taking actions to reduce disruptions to shippers and carriers by making certain that every one in-transit shipments get to their correct locations. Thank you to everybody who stayed centered and obtained it executed. As normal, you guys do wonderful work. With that motion nearing completion, Convoy can be closing down its present core enterprise operations. Some of our staff will proceed on to deal with this windup transition and potential future strategic choices (all whom have already been spoken with), as we speak is your final day at the firm.

We hoped at the present time would by no means come. We spent over 4 months exhausting all viable strategic choices for the enterprise. However, none of the choices in the end materialized into something ample to maintain the firm getting into its then present kind.

So, what occurred? In brief, we’re in the center of an enormous freight recession and a contraction in the capital markets. This mixture in the end crushed our progress at the identical time that it was crushing our logical strategic acquirer – it was the good storm.

Convoy’s tech centric strategy to trucking created actual advantages. It additionally created the circumstances for a really scalable expertise platform and enterprise mannequin that might have yielded actual monetary features when market circumstances enhance. But in the finish, market forces had been too sturdy for us to stand up to on our personal.

We moved all enterprise levers attainable. But we had been operating up the down escalator…. and it stored dashing up. So regardless of your glorious work on our product and repair innovation, intensive income driving efforts, and the painful and sweeping value cuts you’ve had to endure, it was nonetheless not sufficient to get us into the monetary place vital to stand up to the growing pressures of the trade, with out the want for out of doors funding.

Alongside this unprecedented freight market collapse, the dramatic financial tightening we have seen over the final 18 months has dramatically dampened funding urge for food and shrunk flows into unprofitable late stage non-public corporations. Add to that, amidst these freight and monetary circumstances, M&A exercise has shrunk considerably and most of logical strategic acquirers of Convoy are additionally affected by the freight market collapse, making the deal doing that a lot more durable.

The good storm.

Following an exhaustive course of, spanning many, many months throughout which we explored all viable strategic choices for the enterprise, the result’s the place we’re as we speak. Convoy is closing the doorways on its present core enterprise operations and exploring and evaluating strategic choices for what may come subsequent.

The work you’ve got all executed will depart its mark on the freight trade perpetually. This trade wants to modernize. Shippers need it, carriers need it, and the market desires it. We nonetheless consider that this can be the future for this trade.

As I simply shared on our name, I feel the world of you. Over the previous few months I skilled some of the highest highs and lowest lows in enterprise, however all through it I remained motivated as a result of of the unbelievable individuals at Convoy who gave me inspiration every single day. You guys rock.



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