This Atlanta Tech Entrepreneur Is Making $Millions From Empty Miles On Trucking Routes
In case you missed the recent 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta) at TechSquare Labs, we’ve got you covered. Moguldom.com was in Atlanta for the event, which provided a forum for some of the newest ideas around reversing inequality in tech. This is the second in a series of Moguldom videos from 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta), June 10, 2017.
Amari Ruff is founder and CEO of Sudu — a tech company whose name means “speed” in Chinese.
Ruff’s logistics company connects small trucking companies owned by minorities, women and veterans with large corporations that need to move merchandise. Not just any corporations — corporations that have diversity initiatives.
Sudu is located at Georgia Tech’s startup tech business incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center, and is connected with the National Minority Transportation Consortium.
Ruff was at the 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta), hoping to meet potential investors, make connections, and “just to push the diversity initiative in tech.”
His company has already raised $2 million in a seed round, due to close Aug. 1. “That was just off of one customer,” Ruff told Moguldom.com. “Then we’re going to look to raise another round just to grow because we’ve got so much opportunity.”
Sudu is an Uber for long-haul trucking, Ruff said:
“We utilize big data, predictive analytics and machine learning to eliminate empty miles on the routing for trucking companies.
The tech company solves a problem that prevents small trucking companies from competing for big contracts:
“What we noticed in the industry is that 97 percent of all trucking companies have 10 or less trucks,” Ruff told Moguldom.com. “To start the conversation around contracts with large corporations you need to have at least 300 trucks. So 97 percent would never see large contract opportunities.”
Sudu grouped the 97 percent together under one umbrella and created a platform to secure contract opportunities.
Sudu has been working with Walmart for a year, just secured a contract with Georgia-Pacific and is in the final stages of a contract with Coca-Cola and Diageo, Ruff told Moguldom.com.
Sudu was identified as one of the five startups to watch in 2017 by Venture Atlanta, an annual conference where top-tier investors connect with and fund promising local tech companies.
Ruff admits he’s made a lot of mistakes on his entrepreneurial journey.
“I’ve been able to cultivate new relationships because of those mistakes,” he said on a SE Tech Podcast. “I’m a go-getter and I have no fear. I jump out of the airplane and build my parachute on the way down.”
His advice for entrepreneurs? “Get out there and embrace failure. I’ve started seven other businesses and had five failures — colossal flops — but that’s made me who I am today. Surround yourself with positive energy. Have those smart people around you. Know what you don’t know. Know your weaknesses and get people that are strong where you’re weak.”
“Get out there and embrace failure. I’ve started seven other businesses and had five failures — colossal flops — but that’s made me who I am today. Surround yourself with positive energy. Have those smart people around you. Know what you don’t know. Know your weaknesses and get people that are strong where you’re weak.”