Investments

Ex-Uber CEO Backs Freight Startup Kargo

The former CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, has invested in a trucking and logistics startup some are calling “Uber for trucks.” Kalanick, along with Sequoia Capital, participated in a $7.6 million funding round for Kargo, according to reports.

To use Kargo, customers order trucks using an app, but Kargo CEO and Co-Founder Tiger Fang said the scope is wider than that — and that, unlike Uber, Kargo doesn’t work with the truck drivers themselves. Instead, it uses truck operators and third-party logistics.

The idea is to cut out the middleman and allow for more transparency, improved service and a less-costly option for companies, which will translate to more revenue for drivers. Basically, Kargo is trying to streamline the connection between users and the actual logistics operators.

“We hope we can lower the price for shippers and raise the earnings from shippers and transporters,” Fang said. “We think there are hundreds of thousands of smaller companies who all get their jobs from agents and [middlemen].”

Fang used to manage Uber In Chengdu, which was once the company’s biggest city before it was sold to Grab. He started Kargo with Yodi Aditya, Kargo CTO. The beta launched early this year.

The initial focus of the company will be on fast-moving consumer goods, and he said he has access to thousands of trucks. Fang said different types of freight require different trucks, so he’s starting with one segment.

Other backers in Kargo include China’s Zhenfund, Intudo Ventures from Indonesia, an investment from the co-founder of North Star hedge fund group Patrick Walujo, along with ATM Capital.

Kalanick’s fund is called the 10100 and was founded in March of last year.

“The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation,” Kalanick said on the fund’s homepage. Fang said he was excited about the prospect of moving forward.

“We are aggressively hiring in Indonesia for all roles!” Fang wrote in a LinkedIn post.

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