Dan Lewis, CEO of digital freight broker startup Convoy, thought about the location of their second office for months. He looked into more than 20 cities on the East Coast to find the right fit of not only a logistics hub, but also an attractive city for emerging talent.
That’s how they landed on Atlanta.
“Atlanta has a broad set of universities, which means a lot of young talent across technical and non-technical areas, which give us a huge amount of options and value,” Lewis tells Hypepotamus. “While we’re starting out with sales and operations, the city’s talent will help us remain flexible as we grow.”
The Seattle-based unicorn company raised a $185 million Series C round, led by Google’s Alphabet growth equity fund CapitalG, this past September, which brought their total capital raised to more than $265 million. Those funds were earmarked for the aforementioned expansion, leading up to the opening of their Atlanta office as East Coast headquarters in early 2019.
Trucks drive across the country empty up to 40 percent of the time, shares Lewis. That’s where Convoy comes in, as a matching service to engineer smarter routes where truck drivers can deliver more shipments.
The app also includes a bidding feature for carriers to bid on posted loads, as well as a processing feature that pays out the drive automatically if the driver is using the app. In this field, payments are often delayed due to paperwork red tape. This feature — and immediate paychecks — encourages drivers to both use the app and haul more Convoy loads.
Lewis explains that while he’s excited to bring Convoy’s company-wide values to the Atlanta office, he does not want to mimic the same culture here. “There are a lot of characteristics about who we are that make Convoy unique, but it’s really important for our second office to develop its own fun and interesting culture.”
“I’m sure there are going to be a bunch of things that we’ll be jealous of in our Seattle office. We want people to join the company not only for the job, but also because there’s an interesting story. We want to create something new and I think a lot of people joining early on will be excited to be part of building that,” says Lewis.
When raising the latest round, Lewis shares that Convoy’s leaders took the deck that was presented to investors and showed it to everyone in the company. “We wanted to make sure every employee knew all the details about the fundraise. People want to understand the storyline and raise all the questions our investors asked,” he says.
Lewis is excited to join the city’s supply chain leaders like UPS, Delta, Home Depot and others, and integrate into the Atlanta tech and logistics communities. “We want to bring attention and awareness to the Atlanta community and share why we’re excited to come here with others and demonstrate how you can grow the business in this environment,” says Lewis.
Convoy is currently filling Atlanta-based positions in operations, support and account management to nurture current accounts and acquire new customers, though the location of the office has yet to be determined. Lewis anticipates hiring about 100 over the next few years.
“We think it’s going to be a great fit and we’re 100 percent excited about it,” says Lewis.
Photos provided by Convoy