RepairSmith Raises $ 42 Million Series B to Bring Auto Repair to Customers’ Doors – TechCrunch
Needing your car repaired is like having a toothache: it’s painful, hard to ignore, and it probably means someone is confused under the hood. RepairSmith, launched in 2019, wants to make this process a bit smoother with its mobile auto repair service that sends a mechanic directly to the driver’s home.
The startup already has a presence in seven states and now, with new funding of $ 42 million, is looking to expand its operations to encompass all major metropolitan areas in the United States by the end of 2022.
“Basically what we’re doing here is e-commerce and logistics,” Milne said. “We are trying to disrupt probably the larger retail industry that is untouched by technology.” RepairSmith aims to do this by allowing customers to book an appointment online and have a mechanic perform an inspection or repair from their driveway, away from the conventional auto repair process.
RepairSmith was created as part of Mercedes-Benz’s incubation program, and the company’s first rounds of funding were provided solely by the automaker. Now that RepairSmith has a firm footing in several subways, with data showing it to be an attractive business, the company has decided to bring in new investors TI Capital, Porsche Ventures and Spring Mountain Capital for the final round. B, in addition to Mercedes.
“We’ve built this company from the start to be multi-brand as an industrial solution,” RepairSmith CEO Joel Milne told TechCrunch in an interview. “While [Mercedes] sowed it, this was never meant to be a Mercedes solution. It has always been the intention.
Depending on the market, users can have a repair technician in their home in just one or two days. Milne said about 90% of appointments can be done on site. For the remaining 10% or so, the customer can either drive their car (or if it can’t be driven), have it towed to a network of auto body shops that have partnered with RepairSmith.
In some cases, the customer knows in advance what is wrong with their car, but when not, RepairSmith schedules an inspection visit and generates a quote for after-sales service.
The company started out focusing on the consumer market, but it has also expanded to work with fleets, car rental companies and dealerships. Just over a quarter of the company’s services are now B2B. “These are both equally important markets and very exciting opportunities for us,” said Milne. “It’s really a function of, we focused on the consumer first, but part of this capital increase [is] we are aggressively developing our B2B services.
All RepairSmith technicians are also employees, rather than contractors, a decision that ultimately came down to attracting top talent.
“We didn’t think we could be competitive by recruiting the quality technicians we were looking for without offering them standard employment conditions. All repair shop technicians are employees today, and this is the market in which we compete for labor, ”said Milne. He added that the company also didn’t want to face legal issues about what counts as an entrepreneur versus an employee.
The startup has big goals – to enter all major metropolitan markets by the end of next year, which not only includes hiring more auto technicians, but also continuing to improve the the company’s software and logistics platform, which she built from the ground up. Milne wondered if he might need additional capital to make this happen. “Ultimately, if the market is good, we will look for other investments to develop ourselves, whether internationally, whether to develop our service offering. But this increase takes us a long way, depending on how fast we want to go. “