Countless industries are at a standstill right now.
As an angel investor, you’re probably wondering, Are startups safe in this environment?
Well, if there is one thing I know from my experience — when the forecast looks grim, invest in the essentials.
ONE industry keeps rolling with no end in sight. Why? Because our economy, our lives, and everything we take for granted…relies on the TRUCKING industry.
Trucks move 70% of all the goods in America… not only that, but trucking accounts for about 6% of all the full-time jobs in the US –– making it the $700B industry it is. To me, it’s an essential industry and one that would be hard to live without.
This startup is actually putting people back to work in the world of trucking.
Even in the midst of pandemic and an economic slowdown, angel investors with the right information and community are well positioned to thrive.
How could you thrive in this environment?
In the process of finding this deal, I stumbled into this fact — the entire trucking industry is starved for innovation.
One thing all angel investing veterans know — betting on the essentials is always a good idea.
Right now many industries are at a standstill. If you look around, you’ll see people cutting out luxuries and sticking to what’s necessary.
Even in the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown that will follow, angel investors with the right information and community will thrive.
By knowing where to find the best deals and investing in the essentials, angels can actually thrive in these times.
In this article, I will let you in on one of the top industries to watch in the coming months — trucking.
Last week, we found a startup that is bringing much-needed innovation to employers in the $700B trucking industry.
This deal was passed along to our Angel Investing Insider members, who get consistent, hand-picked deals from me and my team.
Let’s take a look at what I uncovered while digging into the innovation starved trucking industry…
There Are Only Three Types of Startups
For those of you that missed it, this goes back to our piece on oxygen, aspirin, and jewelry startups.
A startup will always fall into one of these categories:
- Something that is an oxygen business provides something essential, a necessity.
- Aspirin businesses, offer a solution to a problem or reduce a certain kind of pain for customers, but aren’t essential.
- Finally, jewelry businesses offer products of plenty, things that elevate a customer’s lifestyle. These are the businesses struggling the most right now.
Customers — and the economy as a whole — are opting for oxygen and aspirin right now. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, people need to breathe.
Here’s where it gets good. I’m going to bring to your attention an entire industry of oxygen. I’m talking about trucking. And inside this industry, fantastic startups provide aspirin services. Services that are going to enable unprecedented growth in this archaic but massive industry.
Spotlight: The Trucking Industry
Successful entrepreneur and prolific early-stage investor, Ben Narasin, said this about the trucking industry, “I’m always surprised when I see any industry this big and antiquated.”
I couldn’t have put it any better. Trucking is a $700 billion industry that is running on old technology. It’s starved for innovation.
Most shipping companies are small businesses — 91% of carriers have six or fewer trucks.
They are desperate for smart tools to compete with big businesses like Walmart, who own their fleets.
Most truckers and contractors are struggling to capture their share of the market from a lack of technology alone.
Looking around and talking to people in the trucking world, you’ll see the demand for new tools and better technology coming from all directions.
With all that’s happening right now, you may be wondering where to place your investments.
I’m here to let you know — no matter the forecast, there are always incredible opportunities for angel investors.
Angel investing has been the best-kept secret in the financial world. For years I never knew this was possible — I wish someone had told me. That’s why I’m telling you. You can be a part of the explosive world of angel investing and grow your wealth like no other.
Trucking is a clear-cut oxygen industry. Products need to get from factory or port to shelf now more than ever. Just think about the truck-loads of toilet paper rushing around the country trying to meet demand.
Startups Changing the $700B Trucking Industry
We found startups that could have turned $100 into $1,000,000 if you had picked them up in time. Luckily for us, these startups were only the beginning.
Only $2.2 billion of venture capital and angel investments went into trucking over the past 5 years. Over the next 5 years, we’re sure this number will be significantly higher.
Angels who invest in trucking startups today are far ahead of the curve, the demand is still sky-high.
I’m going to walk you through a recent history of trucking startups. In a short time, an amazing amount of money has been poured into these companies.
This isn’t just another list of startups you missed out on. I want you to see how hungry the industry is for innovation. These startups just scratched the surface.
In the timeline of trucking innovations, Trucker Path was one of the first to offer something special.
Today, around 33% of all long haul truckers in the country are monthly users of the Trucker Path app. The rapid adoption of this tool shows how desperate contractors and truckers were for any smart trucking tools just a few years ago.
The first good app for truckers comes out, and in a couple of years, 1/3 of all truckers use it? That’s unprecedented.
The app offers crowdsourced navigation, a freight marketplace, and payment tools. It makes trucking smarter and more profitable for the supply- and demand-side of the trucking industry.
When Trucker Path came online, there was no competition. There was nothing like it. This goes to show what one simple tool can do for an antiquated market.
Fourkites was the next to see the potential in a barren market.
Traditionally, once a truck leaves the facility, shipping companies have no idea what’s happening.
Driver problems, truck problems, or route changes can be communicated by radio, but consistent, real-time info on shipments wasn’t doable.
With Fourkites, real-time data, like shipment location and freight temperature, are now accessible in the palm of your hand. The mobile application helps customers lower operating costs, improve on-time performance, and strengthen customer relationships.
In a few short years, Fourkites has grown to be used by 260 of the world’s top shipping companies.
Now we have the big one. A true trucking unicorn.
Convoy saw the baby steps other startups took to modernize trucking and decided to take it up a notch.
Using artificial intelligence to solve age-old trucking problems like long waits at loading docks, unused space in trucks, and heavy CO2 emissions, Convoy stuck it big.
Convoy’s digital freight network is backed by Jeff Bezos, former Vice President Al Gore, and Marc Benioff.
This is the first big startup success story in the trucking world — the first of many.
The Next Step in Trucking
This brief history of trucking innovation may seem like old news, but it all happened over the past few years. In fact, it’s still happening right now.
It’s incredible to see how these startups skyrocketed in such a short time and how much money they earned.
- Trucker Path – Founded in 2013, $51.5M in funding
- Fourkites – Founded in 2014, $101.5M in funding
- Convoy – Founded in 2015, $665.5M in funding
As I said, this is just the beginning. The rush to meet the demand for smart trucking tools is still in the early stages.
I come to you with this now, because trucking doesn’t care what’s happening in the world. It’s oxygen, it’s resilient.
The deal here isn’t a fancy gadget for your disposable income. We’re talking about one of the most essential industries in the country, a true oxygen-type industry.
Trucking innovations aren’t flashy or superficial, they cut costs and speed up shipments. Even in the COVID-19 outbreak and its aftermath, these startups will be seen as essential. They truly are a critical component of our economy as we know it.
What do you think? Leave us feedback in the comments!