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Pierre Laguerre makes history by being the first Black man to raise max crowdfunding amount

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) Pierre Laguerre, CEO of Fleeting, is the first Black man to raise $1.07 million SEC max from regulation crowd funding.

Fleeting drivers

Pierre Laguerre is the first Black man to raise the $1.07 million Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) maximum from regulation crowd funding.

Let that sink in.

Laguerre’s company Fleeting is a network connecting motor carriers and shippers with qualified Commercial Drivers License (CDL) drivers on demand. Shippers can use Fleeting to book and manage reliable, vetted drivers 24/7. Fleeting reached its fundraising goal ahead of schedule on the online crowd funding platform Republic. The fundraising campaign officially ended July 10.

Laguerre moved from Haiti to Brooklyn when he was 15, with hopes of being a doctor. Life in Brooklyn was not what he expected, and he got his CDL to begin trucking. An inspirational conversation with a college professor ignited his entrepreneurial spirit. He soon became an owner-operator of his own truck before going on to build his own staffing agency.

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Over time, he began to experience burn out, common for many truck drivers (and entrepreneurs.) The schedule is grueling and the constant movement keeps drivers away from their homes and families for long periods of time. Furthermore, according the American Trucking Association, the United States trucking industry is on track to be short 100,000 drivers by 2024. That’s in 4 years!

Then, Laguerre experienced a healthy dose of life that put things in perspective. His newborn son had two heart surgeries in the spring of 2018. During the second surgery, Laguerre was mugged while picking up food for his mother who was in town to visit his son. Being bedridden beside his child gave him the fire and energy to create the life he wanted for his son, himself, and so many other hard working, qualified drivers.

And thus, Fleeting was born. Two years later, Fleeting has prominent investors like Chamillionaire and E-40, won the Grand Prize at Harvard’s Black New Venture Competition, and gained nearly 5,000 investors on their Republic campaign.

Fleeting raised 100% of its goal just one week after the launch of the campaign in February. As soon as the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the United States profoundly in mid-March, Fleeting was working on across-the-board solutions to support impacted shippers, brokers, motor carriers, owner operators, and drivers. On April 5, they announced they would be waiving all booking fees for medical producers and suppliers working to transport essential supplies nationwide.

Thanks to Laguerre’s hard work and vision, Fleeting raised 400% of its goal by April 7 and reached the $1.07 million max by early July. Pierre Laguerre is paving the way for Black entrepreneurs. Furthermore, he is setting an important example for how to create tech solutions with a conscience that put hard working Americans and their families first. It is fortitudinous leadership like Laguerre’s that America should seek at all levels to transform the way business shapes society.

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Heather Buffo is a Cleveland native, a recovering Bostonian, and an Austin newbie. Heather is the Venture Growth & Partnerships Lead at Republic where she works with partners in private investing to democratize access to capital for entrepreneurs. Heather studied neurobiology at Harvard University, and is a City Year Boston AmeriCorps alum. She likes to write for AG, drink Austin beer, and ride around town on her road bicycle. His name is Pippin. Say hello if you see them.

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