FreightWaves continues to expand its data and news operation in Chattanooga
Craig Fuller is a Chattanooga native who grew up watching his father grow a successful business, and now he is growing a business of his own. He is the founder and CEO of FreightWaves.
"When you are the son of an entrepreneur the time you spend with your father is in what he loves and in his business," Craig Fuller said. "His business of choice just happened to be trucking, and so I learned a lot about the trucking business."
Craig Fuller's father started US Xpress in Chattanooga. So growing up Craig spent a lot of time around trucking.
"I'm certainly blessed because I was born into a family that has had a lot of success in the industry," Fuller said.
Fuller has taken that foundation of what he learned in the family business, and created something new in Chattanooga and something new in the transportation, logistics, and shipping industry.
"The original idea was to create a futures market based on trucking which we are now doing, and we're gonna launch at the end of this month," Fuller said. "But what we realized as we went to market is in order to create a liquid futures market you have to create there has to be a news business that really talks about what's happening. There has to be data that really serves that market and that's what we went out and have built."
Craig describes his company, FreightWaves, as the Bloomberg of freight.
FreightWaves provides data and market analysis about the freight industry and they also have a news outlet with 25 journalists that write articles, produce videos, a show on XM Radio, and more\
"We never set out to be a news site. What happened is we talked to a lot of PR agencies that we tried to explain what we were doing. It was very difficult for them to understand it. We talked to media in freight and broadly. They didn't understand it. So we ended up creating our own media outlet out of it because we basically realized that if anyone is going to be able to talk about what we are doing it's ourselves," Fuller said.
And now this company is growing quickly. FreightWaves is building a new headquarters in downtown Chattanooga. The company was launched less than three years ago. They started the news operation in 2017.
FreightWaves gained a lot of recognition last May when the Rise of the Rest Bus tour made a stop in Chattanooga.
They won the pitch competition that night, and an investment from AOL founder and Revolution Chairman Steve Case.
"I think what Steve Case and Rise of the Rest forced us to do was to get our pitch down to four to five minutes," Fuller said. "Really concise and really important without losing them in the discussion."
And FreigtWaves has been very successful at raising money.
Last week the company announced it finished a Series B financing round. The company raised $21 million in that round for a total of $40 million in funding.
"How we receive goods and how they are sent to us is happening at a cadence and a speed we've never seen before and it's changing society," Fuller said. "Our job at FreightWaves is to help provide clarity and really the road map to what's that's happening."
The company currently has about 85 employees. Craig Fuller says they should be at a hundred employees by the end of this month.