Uber Freight, the trucking logistics arm of Uber, today announced a $500 million investment led by Greenbriar that values the unit at $3.3 billion.
Uber Freight helps match carriers with shipper’s loads, using technology to expedite and automate a traditionally manual process that involves email and phone calls. Since launching in 2017, it has nearly 65,000 carriers in its network and works with shippers including AB Inbev, Nestle, LG, Niagara Bottling, Heineken, Land O’Lakes, and more.
“Uber Freight has created an innovative and effective approach to logistics technology that we believe is highly scalable in the coming years,” Michael Weiss, managing partner of Greenbriar, said in a statement. “In particular, we believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a complex marketplace.”
The business rivals Seattle startup Convoy, which also operates a digital marketplace for shippers and carriers. Founded by former Amazon leaders, Convoy raised $400 million at a $2.7 billion valuation in November and recently hired former Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom as its new president.
Convoy has raised $668 million over its lifetime from investors including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi; former Starbucks president Howard Behar; U2’s Bono and The Edge; among others.
Uber Freight reported $211 million in adjusted net revenue for Uber’s most recent quarter, or 11% of the company’s total revenue. That’s up from $167 million a year ago. It reported a $49 million loss for the quarter, down from $52 million last year.
The investment in Uber Freight comes as Uber continues to navigate through the pandemic, which has crushed its main ride-hailing business.
Convoy said it saw demand for trucking surge in March and plunge in April, before rebounding to levels now approaching all-time highs.
Other competitors to Uber Freight and Convoy include Amazon and traditional brokers such as publicly-traded giant C.H. Robinson. There are also newer direct competitors including Transfix; Trucker Path; DAT; and Sennder, which acquired Uber Freight’s Europe operations last month.