Uber sells $500M stake in its freight business as the ride-hailing giant works to conserve cash

One year ago, Uber’s business model could be categorized as an “all of the above approach,” a strategy to generate revenue from all forms of transportation, including ride-hailing, micromobility, logistics, and package and food delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic upended that business strategy prompting Uber to offload its shared micromobility unit Jump, double down on delivery with its acquisition of Postmates, and now, to sell a stake in its growing, but still unprofitable logistics arm Uber Freight.

Uber said Friday that an investor group led by New York-based investment firm Greenbriar Equity Group has committed to invest $500 million in a Series A preferred stock financing for Uber Freight . The deal values the unit at $3.3 billion on a post-money basis. Greenbriar managing partners Michael Weiss and Jill Raker will join the Uber Freight board. Uber didn’t name the other investors.

Uber said it will maintain majority ownership in Uber Freight and will use the funds to continue to scale its logistics platform, which helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies.

Uber Freight launched in 2017. In August 2018, it was spun off into a separate business unit, a move that simultaneously allowed it to gain momentum and burn more cash. After spinning off of Uber, the freight company underwent an expansion. Uber Freight redesigned its app, an improvement that included adding new navigation features to make searching for and filtering loads easier to customize.

The company expanded to Canada and Europe. Uber Freight also established a headquarters in Chicago as part of its parent company’s broader plan to invest more than $200 million annually in the region, including hiring hundreds of workers. Last September, Uber said it would hire 2,000 new employees in the region over the next three years; most would be dedicated to Uber Freight.

More recently, Uber Freight signed on new API integration partnerships with cloud TMS providers, including SAP, Blue Yonder, BluJay, MercuryGate, and Oracle. The company also expanded its enterprise software offering with the launch of Uber Freight Enterprise and Uber Freight Link. Not all of its growth worked out. Uber pulled out of Europe and this month sold off its business there to Berlin-based sennder in an all-stock transaction.

The business unit has experienced a jump in revenue. Still, that growth hasn’t translated into a profit. Uber Freight took in $211 million in revenue in the second quarter of 2020, a 27% increase from the same period last year. Uber Freight reported an adjusted net loss of $49 million in the second quarter, a slight improvement from the $52 million loss in the same period in 2019.

The investment with Greenbriar is being couched by Uber Freight CEO Lior Ron as the company’s “next chapter.”

“We are tremendously proud of what we have accomplished in a few short years. We have led the industry with technology, transforming dated and analog processes to ensure that both shippers and carriers are equipped to succeed in a rapidly changing industry,” Ron said in a statement, adding that Greenbriar is a partner “with deep expertise and a shared passion for simplifying logistics.”

#automotive, #greenbriar-equity-group, #tc, #transportation, #uber, #uber-freight


#DealMonitor – sennder übernimmt Uber Freight – HTGF investiert in Betterfront

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. September werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


Headstart Studios
+++ Der Hamburger Investor Caldec Holding investiert eine einstellige Millionensumme in Headstart Studios, früher als Avado Learning bekannt. Das Unternehmen aus Hamburg ist unter anderem Partner von Google und verantwortet Squared Online, ein Weiterbildungsprogramm für Online-Marketing-Experten. Die deutsche Gesellschaft des Bildungsdienstleisters Avado Learning wurde im vergangenen Jahr im Rahmen eines MBO von Marc Johannsen übernommen. Seit April 2020 agiert das junge Unternehmen unter der Marke Headstart Studios.

+++ Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) und mehrere Business Angels investieren in Betterfront. Das Münchner Fintech bietet Private-Equity-Fondsmanager eine datengesteuerte Fundraisingplattform, die durch Analysen Investitionsentscheidungen unterstützen soll. Zudem sollen Fondsmanager mit dem Fintech “institutionelle Anleger gewinnen, binden und halten können”. Betterfront wurde 2019 von Michel Geolier, Worathti Manosroi und Sergi Case gegründet.

+++ Bayern Kapital, mehrere niederbayerische Business Angels und ein Family Office aus Nürnberg investieren in Easy2Parts. Das Team von Easy2Parts tritt an, um die “Beschaffung von Fertigungsbauteilen und Baugruppen zu erleichtern”. Die Plattform aus Deggendorf vernetzt “einkaufende Unternehmen mit ihren Lieferanten und ermöglicht, automatisiert neue Lieferanten zu finden”. Das frische Kapital wollen die Gründer “vor allem für den Aufbau des Vertriebs und die Weiterentwicklung ihrer Plattform verwenden”.


Uber Freight
+++ Das Berliner Logistik-Startup sennder, das 2015 von Julius Köhler, Nicolaus Schefenacker und David Nothacker gegründet wurde, übernimmt im einer Aktientransaktion das europäische Frachtgeschäft von Uber Freight. “Die Übernahme unterstreicht sennders kontinuierliche und erfolgreiche Konsolidierung des Lkw-Marktes und bedeutet die weitere geografische Expansion in die Niederlande mit lokaler Präsenz in Amsterdam”, teilt die Jungfirma mit. Uber Freight erhält im Zuge der Transaktion eine Minderheitsbeteiligung an sennder. Im Juni fusionierte sennder bereits mit dem französischen Wettbewerber Everoad.

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#aktuell, #bayern-kapital, #betterfront, #caldec-holding, #deggendorf, #easy2parts, #fintech, #hamburg, #headstart-studios, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #logistik, #munchen, #sennder, #uber-freight, #venture-capital


Uber partners with CloudTrucks to help drivers get trucking jobs

Uber has partnered with trucking startup CloudTrucks to make it easier for its ride-hail drivers to get jobs as truckers during the pandemic.

Described as a “business in a box,” CloudTrucks is designed to make it easier for truck owners and operators to run their businesses. Through software and data science, CloudTrucks aims to reduce operating costs for truck drivers and improve revenue, cash flow and costs.

“The country (and the world) is currently facing unprecedented health and economic crises at the same time: Due to Covid-19 and the shutdowns across the nation, businesses are seeing earnings plummet at an alarming rate and employees and contractors are seeing their wages depleted,” CloudTrucks CEO Tobenna Arodiogbu wrote in a blog post.

During this time, Uber drivers with valid commercial driver licenses can join CloudTrucks to start transporting freight loads. If they don’t have access to a truck, CloudTrucks’ partnership with Ryder enables them to lease a tractor and/or trailer. CloudTrucks says it will cover the deposit fee.

“Truck drivers are the backbone of our economy, and communities are depending on them now more than ever,” Uber Freight Head of Business Development and Strategy & Planning Laurent Hautefeuille said in a statement. “Our objective at Uber Freight is to support all truck drivers whether they are industry veterans or just starting out, and we hope this partnership with CloudTrucks and COOP by Ryder will open up more opportunities for those already on the Uber platform.”

There are thousands of drivers across the nation who could be eligible, but the ideal driver, according to Arodiogbu, is someone who has completed at least 500 rides on the Uber platform and has good ratings.

“That said, we are happy to work with Uber drivers who do not meet the number of rides requirement,” he said. “The driver would also have a valid CDL and 2 years of prior truck driving experience.”

For drivers interested in getting into trucking, it won’t cost them anything to get started. CloudTrucks will make money from this, but the company will only get paid once the driver gets paid.

CloudTrucks is a relatively new company, having just launched earlier this year after Arodiogbu sold his last startup, Scotty Labs, to DoorDash. To date, CloudTrucks has raised $6.1 million from Craft Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kindred Ventures and Abstract Ventures.

#cloudtrucks, #tc, #transportation, #uber, #uber-freight