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Trucking dispatch company receives funding from Ryder and other companies

Ryder System, Inc. recently invested in a locally based solution for truckers.

Through its corporate venture capital fund RyderVentures, along with Union Square Ventures, Ryder invested in Miami-based SmartHop, which received a $12 million Series A financing round. Other investors included Equal Ventures and Greycroft. The funding complements SmartHop’s initial $4.5 million seed round, bringing its total funding to $16.5 million. Union Square Ventures was the lead investor.

The dispatching platform that helps companies “truck smarter no harder” is helping companies at a time when “smaller trucking businesses [with six or fewer trucks] have been strained due to ongoing driver shortages and tighter capacities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a press release.

“The past year was an especially challenging one for small and independent truckers, essential parts of the country’s economy who already were facing significant challenges in competing against large carriers and high rates. We created SmartHop to help these businesses thrive, and the need for our platform is stronger than ever today,” said Guillermo Garcia, co-founder and CEO of SmartHop. “This fundraising round will enable us to continue growing our network and enhance our product and team to meet the urgent and evolving needs of small owner-operators so they can retain the control and freedom that brought them to the trucking market.”

SmartHop’s AI-powered load network helps smaller owner-operators through 24/7 support, fuel and insurance savings and a “copilot” program that “helps plan better routes that yield more profit and higher-paying loads.” It also offers truckers solutions through partnerships with the likes of Loadsmart, Redwood Logistics and Parade. Through its Ryder partnership, SmarHop also helps truckers with lease rates and maintenance costs. Through these efforts, SmartHop’s customers see an “increase in take-home pay over 48% as a result of a more competitive cost structure.” It was founded by Venezuelan native Guillermo Garcia who owned a 500-person trucking company in the South American country and launched SmartHop in 2018.

“Ryder established a corporate venture capital fund late last year to identify new technologies and companies addressing pain points in the industry and to help bring their solutions to market quickly. We’ve kept a close eye on SmartHop since its founding and have been impressed by both their technology and their approach to addressing the challenges of fleets,” said Karen Jones, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of new product innovation at Ryder in the press release. “As the first investment through RyderVentures, we are firm believers in Guillermo’s vision for SmartHop and are eager to both invest and collaborate to bring Ryder’s 90 years of experience in logistics to support the SmartHop team’s success.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.