Business Startups Venture

KeepTruckin, A Unicorn Valued At $1.4B, Raises $149M Series D

KeepTruckin, a platform focused on helping truck companies manage their fleets, has raised a $149 million round of funding.

An unlikely unicorn, San Francisco-based KeepTruckin was co-founded by Shoaib Makani, a former VC at Khosla Ventures and ex-Googler. The trucking industry probably joins the construction industry in being among the least traditionally “sexy” sectors, which makes it ripe for disruption.

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The round brings KeepTruckin’s total raised to $228 million, and takes its valuation to $1.4 billion, according to Makani. Greenoaks Capital led the financing, which also included participation from existing investors IVP, GV, Index Ventures and Scale Venture Partners.

I asked Makani if he could provide some metrics to better understand the company’s growth. He wouldn’t share the company’s annual recurring revenue; however, he did tell me that revenue grew 300 percent in 2018, headcount doubled over the past year to just over 1,000, and KeepTruckin has 55,000 customers. When I asked if the company was profitable, he said only, “We have the resources from our ($50M) Series C still in the bank.”

KeepTruckin CEO and Co-founder Shoaib  Makani

So, why the massive raise then?

Makani said his company has “big plans” to meet demand within the giant trucking industry and needs the capital to help it meet its goals.

“We see big opportunity ahead of us,” he told Crunchbase News.

Makani co-founded KeepTruckin in 2013 after leaving Khosla Ventures, where he led investments in Instacart, Everlane, Yammer, and HackerRank, “with the goal of improving the safety and efficiency of the trucking industry.”

 “Being able to manage a fleet means operators need to know how the actual truck and trailer are performing and where they are,” Makani told Crunchbase News. “They need to know if they’re safe to operate. So we built our own hardware to get customers visibility into their operations.”

The company started with compliance and electronic logs, addressing rules around how many hours drivers can drive consecutively or in a week. (The company’s hardware and software both monitors and regulates it.) KeepTruckin also has tools to help fleet managers know where their assets are and how they are being handled. For example, KeepTruckin’s Smart Dashcam and expanded safety features can help “a driver improve their performance over time while giving managers visibility into how their drivers are driving,” according to Makani.

Looking ahead, KeepTruckin will use the funds to continue hiring (to about 2,000 people over the next 18 months), further invest in hardware and software, double down on safety and efficiency, and build partnerships. The company also wants to invest in AI capabilities and machine vision as well as asset management functionality.

“We want to make roads safer and think there’s a lot more we can do to further improve safety,” Makani told Crunchbase News. “We also want to help our customers grow their businesses. Trucking is huge, and all fleet managers want access to the best loads and work with the best shippers.”

The data that KeepTruckin has accumulated over the years will help the company as it also focuses on the continued building out of its marketplace, which offers its customers “a catalog of customizable integrations designed to improve operational efficiencies and increase productivity.”

The app marketplace offers fleet operators, according to the company, “a one-stop shop where they can access exclusive integrations offered by partners.”

KeepTruckin is also looking to expand beyond North America in coming years.

“Trucking is forecasted to be a $1 trillion industry by 2024 and is the backbone of the global economy, yet has been underserved by technology,” said Neil Mehta, founder and managing partner of Greenoaks Capital, in a written statement. “The network that KeepTruckin has built will enable it to change the way freight is moved on our roads.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias