The startup's CEO says mobile auto repair makes sense to service an increasingly mobile world
A recent study showed more than half of the people surveyed used ride-sharing services. To service this increasing consumer demand, Uber and Lyft combined have 1.5 million drivers in the US alone. That's a lot of drivers and a lot of cars to repair. And one company aiming to repair those cars just received $10 million to be the first call these drivers make.
YourMechanic announced its new funding today. The Series B round was led by Royal Bank of Canada Ventures as YourMechanic is going overseas. Also participating in the fundraising were repeat investors including SoftBank Capital, Verizon Ventures, American Family Ventures, Data Point Capital, and Rick Wagoner, former Chairman and CEO of General Motors. The funding was raised in part to fuel its expansion into Canada.
In addition to expanding into Canada, YourMechanic intends to use the money to build upon its Fleet Solution to service fleets for ride-sharing companies like Uber, said Anthony Rodio, CEO of YourMechanic, in an interview with VatorNews.
“The industry is going through a transformation, and a large part of that will be less car ownership and more ride-sharing, car-sharing, a sort of peer-to-peer ownership type model,” he said. “Someone is going to own those cars, whether it’s Uber, Lyft, Google, or the City of San Francisco, and we want to service those cars.”
Founded near San Francisco in 2012, YourMechanic is several steps ahead of its competitors, including Seattle-based Wrench Inc. With a user base of 1.3 million cars, the platform currently operates in more than 5,000 cities.
In many ways, the platform disrupts the traditional auto repair industry, Rodio said.
Similar to sites like Angie’s List, which connect pros in a trade to users needing service, YourMechanic’s technology links a customer with a mechanic with the right skill set. Avoiding customer service reps, lengthy phone calls, indefinite wait time, and opaque pricing makes the job more convenient. Unlike Angie’s List, however, YourMechanic also provides car parts, skirting another layer in a traditional repair pipeline.
Using an example of changing brake pads on a car, Rodio explained: “You would go on the platform and tell us what’s wrong with your car. We tell you it’ll cost X dollars to change your brake pads, and we also tell you what you would expect to pay at a dealership or at a local shop. Then we would send the right-skilled mechanic or technician to your home or office with brake pads [at a specific date and time].”
As to the types of repairs a house call mechanic can do, Rodio said its contractors are able to do 90 or more percent of jobs, excluding services that require engine removal, for example. The platform offers a 12-month warranty on its services and has a financing option.
“Beyond the auto industry transforming, the way people consume products and services is changing. Whether it’s mobile healthcare or mobile dog grooming, all those services and products coming to you are going to be in vehicles,” Rodio said.
“The right way to take care of these mobile businesses is with mobile repair, and there’s no better company to service all those vehicles than us.”
Image Source: YourMechanic