By Riley Kaminer
The Miami-based startup, which develops software solutions for solo and small fleet truck drivers, has tapped Uber Elevate and Goldman Sachs veteran Amy Liu to take on its newly-formed Chief of Staff role.
“I’m thrilled to say that we could not have chosen a better person,” co-founder and CEO Guillermo Garcia told Refresh Miami. “Amy brings a strong operational background and excellent organizational skills. The Chief of Staff role will help a lot with keeping track of milestones and our team’s strategy.”
Liu will be based out of SmartHop’s recently-formed office in New York City. “We decided to open this office because we want to attract the FinTech and engineering talent in the city,” said Garcia. He noted that the company plans to keep its hybrid staffing strategy that will enable employees to decide whether they want to work at home or in an office. “Zoom does a lot but it doesn’t do everything, so we have offices where people can come together to work.”
Two months ago, SmartHop also opened an office in Bogotá. This comes after a year of hiring employees in Colombia.
The startup, backed by Union Square Ventures and RyderVentures, now has 50 full-time employees, more than half of whom are based in Miami. SmartHop plans to double its 2020 headcount by the end of 2021. It’s firmly on track, having already increased its number of employees by 31% so far this year.
“We’re hiring across the board,” Garcia said, specifically mentioning engineers and business operations associates as top priority. Garcia noted that this hiring strategy was spurred by an increase in demand of the company’s services due to the pandemic.
SmartHop’s products help independent truckers and small fleet operators cut costs and increase revenue using digital tools. Launching in February 2020 was actually ideal timing, said Garcia: “I believe things happen for a reason.”
“We were really there to help our customers,” Garcia said, noting that the company was able to provide its customers with the tools to navigate the rapidly-shifting patchwork of Covid restrictions. “We went from zero to one hundred trucks [customers] in a couple of months because they saw the value of what we were doing.”
Despite SmartHop’s expansion further afield, Garcia is still firmly rooted in Miami, the city that he has called home since he immigrated from Venezuela seven years ago. “It’s great to see that you can work at and build sustainable, big companies out of cities like Miami.”
Photo at top of post: SmartHop co-founders Guillermo Garcia (CEO) and Miguel Sucre (CTO).