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Venture capital pushes entrepreneurs to think big. So big, that often, startup pitchdecks can border on parody, advertising ridiculous-sounding numbers like a "trillion-dollar market opportunity."
“Imagine if we took just 1% market share,” the startup CEO declares at demo day.
Then again, as software moves into every industry, the opportunities are indeed getting bigger. A press release issued this morning made that clear: Turvo, a Sunnyvale-based startup, announced it is DISRUPTING THE $8 TRILLION LOGISTICS INDUSTRY. Commensurate with the size of the opportunity, Turvo has raised a giant Series A round of funding to the tune of $25 million. Activant Capital led the round alongside existing investors Felicis Ventures, Upside Partnership, Slow Ventures and Tony Fadell.
The company launches Tuesday with several customers on board:
Oberto Brands, the nation’s leading all-natural jerky manufacturer; cosmetics company Le Metier De Beaute, beer brewery Anchor Brewing, and logistics provider Service First Logistics.
Felicis Ventures, which led the company's seed round, was also an early investor in Flexport, the “Uber of oceans.” The firm has also backed several companies working on hardware for the trucking industry.
Given the conversations swirling this week about AI, and Elon Musk’s fear of it, and Steve Mnuchin’s dismissal of it (which kicked the AI hype machine into overdrive), and the trucking industry’s cautious embrace of it, I asked Felicis partner Wesley Chan whether this is another company designed to displace blue-collar jobs. Chan said no: “The company isn’t replacing or displacing any jobs, but rather making booking, dispatching, and tracking shipments on trucks way more efficient. Trucking is a paper and pencil business, so adding technology will be huge. No robots in this one.”
CEO Eric Gilmore echoed the sentiment: “Our approach is to give people superpowers through AI-powered software and eliminate or automate all of the countless hours spent on redundant manual tasks.”
Valuation was not disclosed but Chan said it is “proportional to the round size.” “This is a big, huge play so we wanted to make sure Eric and the company was well capitalized,” he added.