RepairSmith, the mobile auto-repair startup, is revving up its efforts to make car fixes less of a headache: Today the company announced a $42 million Series B round of funding.
This latest round of investors includes two legacy auto companies, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Ventures, as well as TI Capital and Spring Mountain Capital. RepairSmith says that it will use the fresh cash to continue its swift expansions across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.
For consumers, the two-year-old service offers an alternative to idling outside a Jiffy Lube for 45 minutes only to be told that, no, they cannot fix your car. RepairSmith includes online booking, instant pricing, and on-site repair at homes or workplaces, all provided by full-time technicians who appear in repair vans.
The involvement of Mercedes-Benz is not surprising: The concept was born in an incubator session there under its investment arm. RepairSmith’s mobile vans are Mercedes-Benz minivans and Sprinters, and Daimler AG, the German parent company of Mercedes-Benz, had been RepairSmith’s primary backer. Car manufacturers have long found themselves at odds with independently owned dealerships, which can profit handsomely from repair and labor services. RepairSmith offers Daimler a way to directly touch those income streams from repair and maintenance beyond just selling parts to dealers.
RepairSmith’s pricing falls above local budget options. Today, an in-home-driveway oil change on an aging Honda CR-V in Portland, Oregon, costs $97, which is far north of the $39 coupon option available at a nearby Jiffy Lube. An air conditioning compressor replacement costs $1,583, double what a local garage charges. But neither requires the CR-V’s owner to lose hours of work while marooned at a garage, nor multiple trips to the garage for diagnosis and then repair, nor sharing air with a cabbie on taxi rides back and forth to the garage during the repair.
The company currently operates in Oregon, Texas, Nevada, Georgia, California, and Arizona, and was named one of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies this year.