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Open the app, describe your car problem, and easily book an appointment with a mechanic
YourMechanic, provider of on-demand auto repair, today announced that it has secured $24 million in new funding from SoftBank Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Data Point Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, SAIC, Verizon Ventures, American Family Insurance, PG Ventures, Promus Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank.
The company, which previously raised seed money from Ashton Kutcher, Jeff Clavier, and Y Combinator, has raised a total of $32 million in venture financing.
The idea behind YourMechanic is a familiar story. Take a traditional industry (the auto repair industry), make it on-demand by launching an app, and then deploy an army of independent contractors to take care of the work.
YourMechanic says it offers over 500 services, addressing oil changes, brakes, belts, heating and A/C, and more. As a customer, all you have to do is access YourMechanic through its website or mobile app, describe the problem and car (year, make, and model), get a quote, and book an appointment. Then the mechanic will meet you wherever your car is to perform the repair. You don’t have to wait either, as you can leave the keys with them while you’re away.
If that makes you nervous after hearing all the sketchy stories that have plagued other sharing economy companies, especially Uber, YourMechanic insists that it performs extensive background checks on its mechanics, including criminal records and references. The company says its workers have, on average, over ten years of experience and most have certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Of course, you can also review the mechanic’s profile page for certifications, years of experience, skills, and feedback from previous customers.
"Consumers want ondemand services and the ability to schedule and monitor auto repairs will play a key role in enhancing customer service and transforming the transportation sector," said Jeffrey Black, Director at Verizon Ventures, one of YourMechanic’s backers. "YourMechanic's modern approach to auto service has been embraced by customers across the country who expect value, convenience, and transparency.”
YourMechanic isn’t the only one offering this service, though it’s the most well-funded and geographically distributed, with services provided across more than a dozen states. Another on-demand auto repair service, Otobots, has only raised a small amount of seed funding and is currently available in the areas around Chicago, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth.
After I reached out to YourMechanic, they confirmed that the company's auto mechanics are classified as independent contractors. Mechanics can set their own hours, an oft-touted benefit of working for sharing economy companies.
The company also says mechanics usually double or triple the earnings they previously received at traditional shops and dealerships, while telling customers that they’ll be paying (on average) 30 percent less for repairs.
YourMechanic will use its new funding to expand nationwide and to Canada.
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