Announcing BCV’s $18M Series A Investment In AutoLeap
“The mechanic raised up from under my hood; he shook his head and said, “This ain’t good! Your timin’ belt’s done, shrunk one size too small; those spark plug wires are a little too long - and your main prodsponder’s nearly gone. Your injector ports are stripped, and that ain’t all…”
- Alan Jackson, “Talkin’ Song Repair Blues”- #18 Billboard Country Chart, 2004
There are very few consumer transactions that inspire as much fear and anxiety as an automotive repair. For most of us, when we get our car serviced, our default assumption is that we are getting overcharged - or even worse, taken for a proverbial ride. Did the mechanic loosen some bolt or gasket intentionally to cause us to have to come back three months later? Relative to other purchases, the amount of information available on the internet about various repair shops, their services, prices, and quality is poor and confusing at best.
But the reality is that the majority of auto repair shops are run by hard-working, honest small business people. These owner-operators strive to effectively manage their businesses, and provide important and necessary services to millions of consumers every day. They want to attract loyal customers who come back over and over whenever their cars need repairs, and more importantly, who are proactive in getting their cars serviced to prevent future issues.
So why the disconnect between consumers and car repair shops? Ultimately, this problem stems from a lack of visibility. Once the consumer drops off their car, the process from there is a black box: you simply get a phone call with a suggested set of repairs and a price tag. You have no idea if you were fairly charged, if the work was done to high standards, or even if all the repairs were necessary.
AutoLeap: The First All-In-One Cloud Platform For Auto Repair Stations
Enter AutoLeap, the first comprehensive cloud platform for the 300,000 independent auto service shops in North America. AutoLeap helps garage owners manage all aspects of running a repair business, including a modern CRM, labor management and scheduling software, a marketplace for parts ordering, a mobile payments solution, and importantly, software that provides visibility into the actual repairs.
This visibility is the core to what makes AutoLeap so powerful for both car repair shops and consumers. For the first time, a shop owner can know exactly what is happening inside each service bay, who is working on what, what the progress is, what the actual costs are, and the estimated completion time of the repair. By having this visibility, the shop owner can drive revenue and improve profitability.
But more importantly, this same information can be shared with consumers, providing answers to basic questions such as: what actually needs servicing, and why? What needs to be serviced today vs. the next time? How much does this all cost? When do I need to come back, and what will be taken care of then? Sharing clear information with customers builds trust, and trust engenders loyalty, which results in higher retention and revenue for the business owner.
Repeat Founders Who Understand Vertical Software
We were blown away after our first meetings with the AutoLeap founders Steve Lau and Rameez Ansari. Prior to AutoLeap they purchased a tiny software company, renamed FieldEdge, which provided a modern cloud platform for HVAC contractors. This company gave HVAC service businesses a modern platform including scheduling, customer database, payments, and parts ordering. Steve and Rameez bootstrapped that business and grew it to a scaled business with tens of millions in recurring revenue.
After they successfully sold FieldEdge, Steve and Rameez began looking for another vertical that had the same characteristics of the HVAC market: lots of fragmented companies run as small businesses; lack of modern cloud software; a painful consumer experience; and an opportunity to combine SaaS, marketplace, and fintech to solve the industry’s challenges.
This led them to the $300 billion North American auto parts and servicing market and the 300,000 independent auto repair shops operating therein. So Steve and Rameez decided to bring the band from FieldEdge back together to go after this opportunity, but this time (fortunately for us!) with venture capital funding.
We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Steve and Rameez as they tackle the enormous opportunity of helping auto repair shops move their businesses into the digital age. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and, as we’ve seen in other sectors like consumer brands, restaurants, retail, and ecommerce, business owners need modern cloud software to stay competitive and deliver better experiences for their customers.
AutoLeap is bringing powerful cloud technology to auto repair shops, one of the last verticals yet to make the “leap” to the cloud. The time is now, and we are thrilled to be joining forces with Steve, Rameez, and the entire AutoLeap team!
Bain Capital Ventures is proud to have led AutoLeap’s Series A round of funding. Read more about it here.