Convoy, a Seattle-based trucking startup whose investors include Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, will slash hundreds of jobs in the coming days as it prepares to woo prospective buyers, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The once-buzzy startup, often described as the Uber for trucking, has already whittled its staff down to about 500 people from a peak of 1,500, and was on track to run out of money in a matter of weeks, said people familiar with the matter. A majority of the remaining employees will be let go in an effort to make Convoy more attractive to potential acquirers — most likely established companies in the trucking industry that the startup was trying to disrupt, the person said.
Other suitors, who are less active in the negotiations now, include Walmart and A.P. Moller-Maersk, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to share the information.
Convoy alarmed customers Wednesday with an email telling them it couldn’t accept any new orders and that existing orders due to be picked up in the next three days should be canceled. Bloomberg reviewed the correspondence from Convoy’s sales team. Supply chain news website FreightWaves earlier reported the customer letter about the shipment cancellations.
A spokesperson for Convoy said the company is going through a transition and will have more information within two days.