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NEXT Trucking shows growth in alternative data and could be a unicorn soon

2 months ago by Jon Marino in Facts, Trends

NEXT Trucking ($NEXTTRUCKING) has ramped up hiring, job postings and clients, according to its alternative data - and next, NEXT may aim to do what they say can't be done: toppling all-things-on-wheels-sharing-king Uber ($NYSE:UBER). 

First up is our NEXT LinkedIn Employee Count, which is derived from how many people identify the supply chain and logistics startup is their current employer. For NEXT - which bagged a mega-funding round from backers including Sequoia Capital - the company appears to have ramped up hiring, in a big way - staffing has grown 35% since the second quarter began, to 171 workers. But, according to VentureBeat, when it closed its funding round earlier this year, it had just 60 staffers.

Founded in 2015 by Lidia Yan, NEXT expects to grow revenues to $120 million this year - according to a recent Forbes report that named it one of the likely next unicorns - thanks to partnerships with companies like Rite Aid and Dollar General. 

As we can see by the chart above - although the company has nearly tripled headcount inside the space of a year - it is certainly not done growing, either. It has done so, by focusing on hiring for Applications Engineers - which will help it compete against uber. 

There's an upside and a downside for NEXT Trucking's next chart, which tracks dozens of ratings logged in the Apple App Store for its product - each one, a representation of a client who's using a product (one way, or another). However, compared to NEXT Trucking's competitor Uber, the ridesharing startup's recent progress in securing more ratings may be a cause for concern in NEXT's El Segundo headquarters - by sheer number, Uber's scale for ratings dwarfs that of NEXT. 

The upside for NEXT Trucking, is that it isn't facing nearly $5 billion in projected quarterly losses, nor has it been forced to cut hundreds of marketing staff to adjust to the painful realities of being a public company. 

Right now there so few proxies on how disruptors in the supply chain and logistics space are performing and statistics like Uber's go to show how legacy players in the space are facing disruption. Uber will report earnings August 8, and investors are expecting losses of $3.33 per share, according to analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading:

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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