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FreightCaviar hopped on a call with Hunter Yaw, the Co-founder and CEO of LogRock, a company that helps uses automation to handle the unexciting business of all things compliance for trucking companies. We picked his brain over how he got his start in freight tech, what it takes to secure investments in this sector, and how LogRock shields its users against DoT violations and keeps them off the scent of trial lawyers.
Yaw got his start in freight tech before it was cool. He began working in New York with Loadsmart in 2017 when the company hadn’t yet caught the eye of those in the tech space–before this boom we’re seeing now.
He’d tell friends, “I’m working for a trucking startup,’ and people would be like, “you’re doing what?'” But “Now you tell someone you work in supply chain tech, and it’s like, ‘where can I invest?'”
His work with Loadsmart connected him with João Bosco, now co-founder and COO of LogRock. It was Bosco who suggested the two start a company together.
After both had already left Loadsmart, Bosco called up Yaw with the proposal.
“What’s the idea?” Yaw asked him.
“Listen, man; I don’t have an idea.”
What Bosco had was a vision. He saw what was happening in the supply chain space and knew the right timing to make a move. While at Loadsmart, Yaw learned that to be successful in this space, you have to be aware of what you bring to the table–and what you don’t.
He explained that for someone coming from a tech background, you couldn’t overlook that a large part of this industry needs people. So, you have to be careful that you’re not creating something that will further complicate things.
“We had to find a problem that could be attacked purely with technology, with software.” The two came to the issue of compliance, which is fundamentally a data problem. “And data problems are problems that technology is really good at addressing.”
Bosco and Yaw got an even clearer picture of the trouble by spending a lot of time with trucking company owners and safety managers. They got a deeper understanding of what needed fixing directly from the horse’s mouth.
With an idea and research in hand, the two needed funding. After pitching the idea to investors, LogRock landed $3.5 million in a seed round led by Dynamo Ventures. After scoring the investment, the team set out to make their product a reality.
Yaw and his team wanted to be sure they surpassed expectations. “It can’t just be about the money… once you take the money, then like you owe something to these people… You should feel like they’ve bet on you. And now you’ve gotta…live up to that promise,” he says.
The forecasts look promising. From what Yaw reports, LogRock has been getting plenty of love from those in safety and compliance.
“When we’re talking to safety managers like they get it immediately, and they love LogRock… they’ll tell you it makes their life a lot easier.”
And even the owners, who take a bit more convincing, come to realize the savings that are being brought to their companies through the use of LogRock. They save on liability insurance, reducing time spent out of service and cutting the risk of litigations that can appear from improperly managed compliance.