Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the number of workers who were laid off as a result of Convoy's closure.
Convoy, a Seattle-based digital brokerage, will shutter its operations after cost-cutting and failing to secure a buyer, CEO and co-founder Dan Lewis said Thursday in a letter to employees.
The startup spent “over four months exhausting all viable strategic options for the business,” including M&A, but no options materialized to save the company, Lewis said in the letter, which was sent to Trucking Dive by a Convoy spokesperson.
A freight recession and contraction in the capital markets thwarted discussions with a “logical strategic acquirer,” Lewis told employees.
“M&A activity has shrunk substantially and most of logical strategic acquirers of Convoy are also suffering from the freight market collapse, making the deal doing that much harder,” Lewis wrote.
Most Convoy workers were laid off Thursday, according to the letter. By the afternoon, several “Convoyagers” had posted about the closure on LinkedIn, noting they were now looking for work.
A total of 533 employees were laid off as a result of the closure, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed by the company with the Washington State Employment Security Department.
However, a small team will remain with the company to wind down operations and explore potential strategic options, a spokesperson told Trucking Dive in an email.
Lewis praised employees for their efforts to develop a “tech centric approach to trucking” and enduring sweeping cost cuts.
“We moved all business levers possible, but we were running up the down escalator and it kept speeding up,” he said.