Company: FindaTruckLoad www.findatruckload.co.nz
Founders: Andrew Bishop and Walter Ormsby
Incubator: SODA Inc, Hamilton
Findatruckload graduated from the SODA Boost incubation programme as a high-growth exit in October 2013, following 16 months of rapid growth, which saw its revenue triple to just under $3 million. The company was launched by founders Andrew Bishop and Walter Ormsby (both from the trucking industry) and has increased to seven staff. More than 300 transport operators and 680 clients now use the FindaTruckLoad website, making it New Zealand’s largest truck transportation marketplace.
Its vision is to modernise the transportation industry by leveraging Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology and supporting transport operators to become digitally savvy and comfortable using online services. Via the Findatruckload website, customers and transport companies can connect online to agree on prices. The site saves transport companies marketing and advertising cost. But, importantly, its efficient matching of loads with empty trucks leads to reductions in road use, fuel consumption, and emissions, and better utilisation of labour and capital. The result is lower prices for customers and higher profits for transport companies.
Co-founder Andrew Bishop says Findatruckload was at a slightly more mature growth stage than many early startups entering an incubation programme “But we’ve always been open to advice and mentoring, and SODA offered an extension and continued support to what we currently had in place,” he says. “We found value by treating SODA as an advisory board and were therefore driven and made accountable by the KPIs set by Findatruckload and Team SODA.” SODA Business Growth Manager Petr Adamek says the company took full advantage of the programmes on offer.
Thanks to the public/private partnership support from SODA and its partners, the founders had access to subsidised advisory services such as design-thinking to improve user experience, marketing and sales, financial, legal, recruitment and technology-related mentoring. “They demonstrated all the traits we’re looking for in an assisted company,” says Adamek. “Their solution is high-value added, scalable, has export potential, adds to the competitiveness of New Zealand’s economy, and their team was coachable and open to experimenting with different ways of doing things.
” Bishop says the SODA team provided tools that were essential for the growth of their business. “I’d recommend a programme like this to others, especially first-time business owners,” he says. “I think startups can be over protective and secretive of their idea, which can actually prohibit their growth. Incubators are the perfect place to promote, share and develop you idea into fruition.” Findatruckload is expanding into other verticals, including livestock, domestic freight and international shipping. Having proven its model in the New Zealand market, it’s also planning growth into global markets.