The US container industry is estimated to be ~$10B but it still operates utilizing archaic, outdated methods. LA startup Dray Alliance changes that by digitizing the container industry with its on-demand platform that allows shippers to instantaneously find drivers for freight shipments. Integrated with AI functionalities, Dray Alliance provides full transparency and information so that drivers can get to their destination efficiently, cutting down on costs and travel time, while shippers have peace of mind concerning their freight and its location.
LaTechWatch spoke with CEO Steve Wen about implementing various technologies to modernize the container industry to ensure it can keep up with the pace of today’s demands.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Wonder Ventures led the seed round, joined by Act One ventures, VY Capital, and a few active angel investors such as Will Duan from IOVC.
Tell us about the product or service Dray Alliance offers.
We are digitizing the $10B US container trucking industry by creating an on-demand platform where shippers can instantly find drivers and be transparent with the movement of their freight. We are the most transparent, technology-enabled, well-capitalized provider of container trucking for shippers.
What inspired you to start Dray Alliance?
I identified that there was a problem with drayage long time ago, so I started an asset-based container drayage trucking company a few years back to learn more about the industry, and what it was like being an owner of a small drayage trucking company. During the process, I realized the industry is extremely outdated in terms of process and technology. Someone needed to revolutionize the industry before it became a major source of bottleneck in the supply chain and I decided I should be the one to do it.
How is Dray Alliance different?
We don’t own any physical assets. We simply connect the parties in a transparent way using our technology to make drayage trucking more cost-effective and efficient. Many customers call us the one “Uberizing” the drayage trucking industry.
What market is Dray Alliance targeting and how big is it?
We are targeting container drayage trucking market. It’s a $10B US market.
What’s your business model?
How do you onboard shippers and freight forwards to your platform?
Shippers mostly reach out directly to us. We have a simple 5 minutes onboarding flow after the initial contact.
What was the funding process like?
We closed fairly quick. The whole process took around 2-3 weeks from talking to the investors to signing the closing documents.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Lack of time. It was difficult to run a fast-growing company while having meetings every day with investors.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Growth. We are growing at a steady pace.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to increase our current monthly deliveries 3x.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Do not expect capital to find you. Talking to investors is important but getting more customers and growing your company is essential.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We want to grow even faster and serve our clients better.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity in LA?
Hiking and snowboarding.