Article written by Emon Reiser
An artificial intelligence-powered platform for small trucking companies has raised $4.5 million in seed capital.
Miami-based SmartHop announced the close of the early funding round, led by New York-based Equal Ventures. New York-based Greycroft and Fort Lauderdale-based Las Olas VC joined the raise, along with industry veterans and strategic angel investors who aim to help the startup scale.
“We created SmartHop to service a majority of the freight industry that has lacked the tools to grow their businesses efficiently,” SmartHop co-founder and CEO Guillermo Garcia said.
SmartHop’s platform targets the 90% of trucking companies in the U.S. that operate with fewer than six trucks. The technology offers load booking, back-office support and routes to optimize revenue for owner-operators and small carriers in the logistics business.
SmartHop launched its beta dispatch tool for truckers in September 2018 when it had already secured nationwide pilot deals with FedEx and Anheuser-Busch. It has since attracted backers including Alex Yeager, director at Redwood Logistics; Andrew Leto, founder of GlobalTranz and Emerge TMS; and Jett McCandles, founder of the logistics company Project44.
Garcia started his career in the logistics industry. He worked in supply chain operations for Nestle in Venezuela before founding Alcarin, a distribution and integrated logistics tool for Venezuelan businesses.
South Florida startups continue to attract funding despite the pandemic putting a strain on venture capital globally. Late-stage companies led venture capital deals across Florida in the second quarter, according to data from PitchBook.