Convoy Shuts Down After Failing to Find Buyer

Logistics Company Was on Pace to Run Out of Money in a Few Weeks
A Convoy truck
A spokesperson for Convoy said the company is going through a transition and will have more information within two days. (Convoy)

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Digital freight network Convoy Inc. was forced to shut its doors after no viable options to continue operations emerged, CEO Dan Lewis said in an Oct. 19 memo to employees.

Convoy Inc. ranks No. 54 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

“Following an exhaustive process, spanning many, many months during which we explored all viable strategic options for the business, the result is where we are today,” Lewis said in the memo. “Convoy is closing the doors on its current core business operations and exploring and evaluating strategic options for what might come next.”

Lewis added, “We hoped this day would never come. However, none of the options ultimately materialized into anything sufficient to keep the company going in its then-current form.”

Most of the Seattle-based company’s employees were laid off.

Dan Lewis


Lewis cited a freight recession and a contraction in the capital markets as contributing to the closure. He noted these trends compounded company efforts to find viable strategic options, while also crushing the chances for a potential logical strategic buyer. Lewis described it as a perfect storm.

“Convoy’s tech-centric approach to trucking created real benefits,” Lewis said. “It also created the conditions for a truly scalable technology platform and business model that would have yielded real financial gains when market conditions improve. But in the end, market forces were too strong for us to withstand on our own. We moved all business levers possible. But we were running up the down escalator.”

He added, “Alongside this unprecedented freight market collapse, the dramatic monetary tightening we’ve seen over the last 18 months has dramatically dampened investment appetite and shrunk flows into unprofitable late-stage private companies. Add to that, amidst these freight and financial conditions M&A activity has shrunk substantially, and most of logical strategic acquirers of Convoy are also suffering from the freight market collapse, making the deal-doing that much harder.”

Lewis praised his employees for staying focused as the company neared its closure. He also recognized them for managing through cost cuts earlier this year as the company worked to stay operational. Lewis added, “The work you’ve all done will leave its mark on the freight industry forever. This industry needs to modernize. Shippers want it, carriers want it, and the market wants it. We still believe that this will be the future for this industry.”

Convoy app

A view of the Convoy app on a mobile phone. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

Convoy was founded in 2015 to develop software that connects shippers with carriers. The company’s profile was elevated in the transportation technology space following several successful funding rounds and a bevy of notable investors from the technology sphere, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Lewis previously worked for Amazon, Google and Microsoft before starting Convoy.

The closure came a day after reports began emerging that Convoy was stopping new orders amid internal efforts to minimize disruptions. Lewis said in the memo that while a select group of workers were staying on assist with the wind-down, for most it was essentially their last day on the job.

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