GoFor, which has been rapidly scaling its business and branching out with new technology pilots to meet the demands of modern shippers, has a new leader. Founder and CEO Brad Rollo has stepped aside and Ian Gardner, founder and CEO of Royale EV, takes over as CEO.
Rollo was diagnosed with cancer last year and is transitioning into the position of chief strategy officer so he can focus more time on his health, the company said in a statement.
“Founding and growing GoFor has been an absolute honor, privilege and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done; however, given the circumstances, I need to focus on my health to ensure the best possible outcome,” said Rollo. “I started this company on the back of a napkin in late 2015 with a vision to create a better delivery alternative for big and bulky products in the construction industry, a mission we have definitely accomplished.”
Rollo will remain executive chairman on the board of directors.
Under Rollo’s leadership, GoFor has expanded to serve many verticals, including construction, retail, e-commerce and fulfillment, and operates in 86 locations. It is on track to double its operating reach across North America in 2021. The company’s employee headcount has increased over 150% this past year, and revenue has exceeded 5,319% over the past three years, it said earlier this year. Additionally, GoFor has raised close to $30 million in pre-seed, Seed and Series A growth investments.
Prior to founding Royale EV, Gardner was president of medium-duty electric vehicle maker Chanje and served as chief strategy and investment officer for the LA Cleantech Incubator, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating commercialization of clean technologies.
Royale EV is a consultancy and it was through work with GoFor that Gardner got to know Rollo and the GoFor team.
“I liked the team and the culture, I like the tech they’ve built, I like the business model, and I like where they are in their development,” Garnder told Modern Shipper of his impressions of GoFor, adding that it offers “a great platform built by a talented group of entrepreneurs.”
The transition is moving smoothly because Gardner was already transitioning into a senior management position with GoFor. “I know the culture [and] I know how Brad thinks,” he said, adding that “we have co-aligned on a structure.”
Gardner said GoFor is an attractive business because of its rapid growth, but also because it represents the future of the last-mile delivery space.
GoFor’s technology platform connects retailers with drivers to make last-mile deliveries, including packages and furniture. Among its clientele is Purolator, Sherwin-Williams, Dulux Paint, Benjamin Moore Paints, Ikea, Home Depot, HD Supply and Fastenal. To help GoFor drivers, who are all independent contractors, fulfill these on-demand orders, the company offers dispatching services and routing assistance.
“This is your traditional disruption of an industry where you take something that was done before and you find a way to do it better and cheaper,” Gardner said of GoFor’s strategy.
So far, it seems to be working. The company increased its customer base 156% in 2020, and in March of this year, GoFor announced a partnership with Aurora Aerial to test drone delivery in Canada before rolling it out to other markets, including those in the United States. That followed the partnership announcement with Royale EV that targets conversion of half of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2025. The program bundles trucks, maintenance, charging and more into a single price.
GoFor said it expects to increase its active driver pool to nearly 4,000 by 2022 as it continues expansion. That will be part of a rapid geographic expansion that Gardner said would double the number of North American cities the company operates in currently to approximately 160, and could include expansion to Central and Latin America in 2022.
More tech to come
Gardner also said technology innovations would continue, adding that “some new bells and whistles that I think people are going to find very exciting” will be coming. This will include tech to make life easier for both drivers and shippers.
There will be no real change in the direction of the company and a focus on continuing to drive efficiencies with lower cost of delivery. Electric vehicles will be a large part of the strategy, and with his 15-year background in the space, Gardner doesn’t need to be convinced of the role EVs will play moving forward.
“If you are not in an EV, you can’t deliver a package in many European cities, and [that’s] coming to the U.S.,” he said. “I think GoFor is going to be the first all-electric delivery fleet in the world in the next couple of years. We are going to beat Amazon, we are going to beat FedEx.”