Investors Load $500 Mn Into Uber’s Trucking Business

Uber on Friday said an investment group led by Greenbriar Equity is pumping $500 million into its trucking unit.

The preferred stock financing values Uber Freight at $3.3 billion, and comes as the San Francisco-based company’s core ride-sharing service is stalled due to the pandemic.

Uber Freight matches truckers to shippers in much the way the ride service connects passengers with drivers in the so-called on-demand economy.

While Uber’s ride service has suffered due to people hunkering down or being reluctant to get into cars with strangers due to Covid-19 risk, the freight unit, which launched in 2017, has grown.

“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,” said Uber Freight chief Lior Ron.

Uber said it will retain a majority stake in Freight, using the money to expand the logistics platform and speed up technology innovation.

“We are excited to support Uber Freight in the next stage of its development,” said Greenbriar managing partner Michael Weiss.

“We believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a complex marketplace.”

Uber said its freight unit which connects shippers and drivers was valued at more than $3 billion in a new financing round Uber said its freight unit which connects shippers and drivers was valued at more than $3 billion in a new financing round Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson

Greenbriar has been involved in the logistics sector for decades and brings expertise that Uber Freight can tap into, Weiss added.

Uber reported a $1.8 billion loss in the second quarter of this year as the Covid-19 pandemic caused its shared-ride business revenue to plunge.

Meanwhile, California has filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft by misclassifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, in violation of a recently enacted

Convoy rival Uber Freight raises $500M, valuing trucking logistics business at $3.3B

(Uber Freight Photo)

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.

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“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