In what could be the largest venture capital investment in Idaho history, a majority share of Truckstop.com is being acquired by ICONIQ Capital, a San Francisco-based privately-held financial advisory and investment firm.
Neither company revealed the size of the investment, but CEO Paris Cole called it “one of the largest in the state of Idaho’s history,” adding that it “would value Truckstop.com as one of the most valuable technology companies in the state.”
Previously, the largest specified investment in Idaho technology was Kount, which received a venture capital infusion of $80 million in 2015 from CVC Capital Partners. Eagle timesheet company TSheets was acquired by Intuit in 2017 for $340 million.
Truckstop.com was founded in New Plymouth in 1995, where it built an internet-based digital load board to help carriers find loads to move. Today, it offers a freight matching marketplace using a software-as-a-service model in North America, connecting carriers and brokers with technology solutions for the freight management lifecycle.
Truckstop.com solutions include freight matching; marketplace rates; partner vetting tools; credit and insurance insights; transactional cargo insurance; freight tracking and visibility; transportation management systems (TMS); integrations with most major industry software partners; and payment solutions.
As part of the transaction, ICONIQ Capital — known for investing in companies such as DocuSign and SurveyMonkey — has become Truckstop.com’s majority shareholder. Truckstop.com founder Scott Moscrip and its existing management team will maintain significant ownership, the company said.
Truckstop.com was funded through private investment until 2016 when it received a minority equity investment from Bregal Sagemount. The amount of the investment was not publicly disclosed, but it helped expand the company’s sales and marketing teams, as well as accelerate growth, Cole said. The ICONIQ investment will buy out that investor.
With the investment, Truckstop.com will expand the company’s portfolio of technology solutions, geared toward improving efficiencies for carriers and brokers. This includes simplifying the process for driver owner-operators and brokers to match and move freight and get paid more quickly, Cole said. It will not have an impact on autonomous vehicles, which have been considered a future use case for the trucking industry.
“The investment will allow Truckstop.com to better serve its customers by significantly increasing the number of development professionals employed by the company and thereby increase the quality and quantity of products offered,” Cole said, adding that he and the existing staff planned to stay on.
The company anticipates adding more than 130 new jobs this year in Illinois and Idaho, as well as growth in product and software development, IT and sales. It will continue to be headquartered in New Plymouth, Cole said.
The investment follows several years of company growth, during which it was profitable each year. In that time, Truckstop.com expanded its executive leadership team; grew to 50,000 customers; created a total of 462 jobs across office locations in Fruitland, Boise, Phoenix, Chicago, Toronto Hebron, North Dakota, and Fox River Grove, Illinois; invested in product development and infrastructure build-out; completed several acquisitions and formed partner integrations.
As far as an exit strategy, Cole said he wasn’t sure. “We don’t have a set exit strategy in mind,” he said. “Instead, we believe in keeping all of our options open, whether that is remaining private or going public. The best way that we can maintain that flexibility is to continue serving our customers and growing the business.”
Truckstop.com was advised by DC Advisory. Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisor to ICONIQ Capital.
Trucking technology companies such as Truckstop.com are a major interest area for investors. According to CB Insights, a New York analyst company, funding and deal flow for the trucking tech industry hit record highs in 2018, with $3.6 billion invested across 78 deals. By comparison, 2017 had $1.3 billion across 66 deals, 2016 had $904 million across 65 deals, 2015 had $668 million across 62 deals, while 2014 had $118 million across 34 deals.