Tobenna Arodiogbu was born in 1990 in the city of Enugu, Nigeria, and is the youngest of four siblings. He is best known as the CEO and co-founder of CloudTrucks, a cloud-based platform that helps trucking companies improve their operations and better manage their fleets.
Early Life & Schooling
Growing up in Enugu, Nigeria, Tobenna was an adventurous child. Early on he had the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom and later the United States. Those experiences expanded his perception of greater possibilities in the world. Later in his high school career, his entrepreneurial spirit was developing, and he became known as the “business guy.”
“I designed awards for every variety show (a talent and awards show) organized by various clubs in my school using PowerPoint and made about $30 per award — this was a lot of money for me at the time! I charged much more than my competitors, but I still beat them out on deals 9 times out of 10”
At 16, Tobenna traveled thousands of miles from his family to attend Penn State University. After some struggles with the structured format, Tobenna persevered and graduated with a degree in Economics. He then went on to graduate from Johns Hopkins with a Master of Science (M.S.), in Finance.
“Fun fact, around this time I attempted to strike a business deal that involved becoming the sole distributor of Patron tequila in Nigeria. My life would have probably turned out very different if I was successful at that but in hindsight, I’m glad it fell through.”
During his negotiations for tequila deals, his path to entrepreneurship was fortified. Around 2014, despite his family’s objections to the distance and cost, he accepted a position with Zenefits in San Francisco. After nine months he was promoted to the position of Product Manager. During this time, he found inspiration and influence from his coworkers that refined his business acumen:
“Parker (Founder of Zenefits)- Parker is probably one of the best product minds that I know. This guy was able to think up and create a company that is extremely useful yet free for small businesses while still making $450 per user per year. Parker taught me how to move things forward with the sheer force of will.”
Tobenna Arodiogbu later goes on to cofound a company called Scotty Labs. During his time with Scotty Labs, he met Jin Shieh, who currently serves as CTO of CloudTrucks, and co-founded the company with Tobenna Arodiogbu. DoorDash acquired Scotty Labs in 2019.
CloudTrucks is a cloud-based logistics platform that helps businesses manage their transportation needs. The company has been growing rapidly since its launch in 2016, and it now has customers in over 30 states. Arodiogbu is passionate about using technology to solve real-world problems, and he is excited to continue growing CloudTrucks into a global leader in logistics.
“We don’t just help them on transactions,” Arodiogbu says. “We help them generate more revenue, improve cash flow, lower costs and meet compliance, which is more challenging these days.”
The operation currently has nearly four million truck drivers in the United States. CloudTrucks raised $142 million in equity and have an estimated revenue from 2021 at around $4 million.
One feature that CloudTrucks offers to truck drivers is what they call a CT estimate. The estimate balances the negotiation playing field for the driver and helps them to get fair pay for their work.
Arodiogbu best explains this concept in an Interview between Tobenna and “The Rideshare Guy” discussing how CloudTrucks helps drivers to select their loads:
“…As you can imagine the broker has a lot of information, they know what’s actually happening in the market, they have their computer right there in front of them, and the driver is out there on the road – driving. So, the driver would call and they’re negotiating typically based on some price that they’ve had in the past for that specific lane. But, with CloudTrucks … any single job on our app will have this estimate and it’s a range - it’s basically the high and low of what we believe that this job will go for, so when the driver is calling, they’re negotiating with confidence.”
Today, CloudTrucks is one of the leading technology companies in the trucking industry. The company has created a software platform that helps trucking companies optimize their operations and reduce their environmental impact. In addition, CloudTrucks recently announced Its Road to Independent partnerships with rental companies and truck dealerships in the United States. The program gives drivers with 3+ years of trucking experience the opportunity to lease or purchase a high-quality truck from their partners with as little as $0 for a down payment.
CloudTrucks has also introduced other products to improve the trucking industry:
“CT Cash is designed for drivers who are looking to get paid faster and alleviate cash-flow constraints, providing instant pay and cash card options in addition to receiving cash advances. Similar to Virtual Carrier, CloudTrucks’ existing product for independent owner-operators, the new Flex product line is designed exclusively for small trucking businesses and those drivers who are not looking to drive under CloudTrucks’ authority,” a statement by the company said.
Arodiogbu is passionate about using technology to make the world a better place. Through CloudTrucks, he is making a positive impact on the trucking industry and helping to create a fair and more sustainable future for the industry.
Leadership Roles & Community
Tobenna Arodiogbu, as an angel investor, invested in Afropolitan on Jun 20, 2022. This investment - Pre Seed Round - Afropolitan - was valued at $2.1M. Afropolitan.io was founded by fifty men and women in the fields of technology and art to finance, health, and other industry. In four phases, Afropolitan’s objective is “to solve the Crisis of Legitimacy experienced by Africans worldwide by building a new source of Legitimacy embodied in our Digital Nation.”
Arodiogbu also has a prominent podcast to help other entrepreneurs. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
He was also recently interviewed by Fox KTVU to discuss the problems truck drivers face across the country.
Tobenna Arodiogbu and his cofounders, George Ezenna, and Jen Shieh share the recent honor of having CloudTrucks named one of Forbes’s Next Billion-Dollar Startups of 2022.
Tobenna Arodiogbu is an entrepreneur changing how American companies work and extending opportunities to the trucking industry, and the drivers that are so vital in keeping the country moving forward. He excels in his professional pursuits and in strengthening the community.
Tobenna Arodiogbu is part of our Black Founders50 Series. Download the complete 2023 BBVA Founders50 list here.