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Trucking startup Convoy lays off employees for third time in past year, will close Atlanta office

(GeekWire FIle Photo)

Seattle startup Convoy conducted its third round of layoffs over the past year and said it would close its Atlanta office.

The workforce cuts and real estate footprint reduction are tied to a change in the company’s customer service model, as well as “running a more efficient business overall and speeding our path to profitability,” CEO Dan Lewis wrote on LinkedIn Thursday.

Convoy, which operates a digital trucking marketplace, previously announced layoffs in October and June of last year.

The company declined to provide details about the number of people laid off or an updated headcount when contacted by GeekWire Thursday.

Convoy has just over 1,000 employees, according to LinkedIn. The company said it employed 1,300 people in April 2022, when it raised a $260 million investment round at a $3.8 billion valuation.

In his post, Lewis said the company is automating parts of its customer service model and moving away from a “more generalized approach.”

“This shift represents a big step forward in how we operate, but it comes at a cost. Increased automation and tighter focus have changed our staffing needs,” Lewis wrote.

Convoy opened its Atlanta office in 2019.

Convoy is one of many tech companies trimming headcount and other experiences amid the broader tech industry downturn and ongoing economic uncertainty.

Founded in 2015 and backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Convoy’s software automates transactions between trucking companies and shippers. Its network has more than 400,000 trucks and a roster of shippers including Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Anheuser-Busch.

The company, ranked No. 5 on the GeekWire 200 list of top Pacific Northwest startups, said last year it expected to surpass $1 billion in annual revenue.

Convoy competes with a number of similar digital-focused shipping companies including Uber Freight — which is also laying off workers — in addition to traditional brokers investing in their own technology. They are battling for a share of a $800 billion U.S. trucking industry.

Lewis and Grant Goodale both worked at Amazon before launching Convoy. Goodale transitioned from the CTO role to chief experience officer in 2021.

Convoy hired former Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom as president and COO in 2020.

Other Convoy investors include Baillie Gifford; accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.; Expedia Chairman Barry Diller; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; founders Hadi and Ali Partovi; former Starbucks president Howard Behar; U2’s Bono and The Edge; among others.

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