October 5, 2022

Robotic Notes

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Uber, Convoy vets raise $3.4M from Bezos and others for fintech startup that helps freight carriers

2 min read


The Outgo team. (Outgo Photo)

The news: Mike Bohlander, Ray Fortna, and Marcus Womack are getting the band back together for another startup run. The entrepreneurs are behind Outgo, a new Seattle startup that came out of stealth mode Thursday, announcing $ 3.4 million in funding from Jeff Bezos’ investment firm and others.

The pitch: Outgo is a banking solution for freight carriers. Its finance software helps small trucking companies manage invoice processing and payment collection in one place. “Our goal is to build a financial operating system for these carriers that helps them work across a multitude of brokers,” Womack said. The total addressable market is $ 400 billion, according to Womack.

The competition: To get paid faster, carriers often use factoring companies, which take a small cut of their earnings in exchange for quick payment. Outgo aims to replace traditional factoring companies. Part of its secret sauce is a debit card (Outgo partners with Blue Ridge Bank) that lets carriers factor for free when they need cash. Or, for wires and transfers, they can factor with Outgo for a fee of 1.5% or less, lower than industry standards. There are no monthly or annual contracts.

Tech for trucking: Outgo, which employs 10 people across Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago, is among a flock of startups building technology to serve the trucking industry. Other Seattle startups in the space include Convoy, a billion-dollar freight marketplace company founded by Amazon vets, and Logixboard, a freight forwarder that raised $ 32 million in January.

Traction: Outgo was founded last year, and is currently offering its product to an undisclosed amount of carriers across the nation.

The founders: The trio first worked together at iLike, an online social music service that sold to MySpace in 2009. Then they co-founded Familiar, a photo app acquired by Evidence.com, a business unit of police body camera maker Axon (previously known as Taser ). Womack was most recently a product leader for Uber while Bohlander and Fortna spent time as principal software engineers at Convoy.

From left: Marcus Womack, Mike Bohlander, and Ray Fortna.

Investors: Neo, a firm led by Ali Partovi (who worked with all three co-founders at iLike), led the round with Seattle-based PSL Ventures. Other backers include Bezos Expeditions; Dan Lewis (CEO of Convoy); Jason Droege (founder of Uber Eats); Jason Davis (CEO of Simon Data); and other angel investors.

Bottom line: Demand for trucking is high, and more drivers want to become independent, Womack said. They already operate on razor-thin margins and have tight cash flows. Outgo wants to help them save money and time.

“We just felt like those carriers were underserved and they needed to have better tech and greater transparency on the decisions they’re making around financing,” Womack said.





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