There are already a number of CRM tools out there for small businesses, but there are increasingly niche solutions for specific industries or companies that cater to certain clients. Latvia-based Repairy thinks automotive repair shops need a devoted system that requires little training, and helps repair shop owners build customer relationships. The startup is currently in the winter cohort of the 500 Startups startup accelerator, and is currently testing out the service with over 30 auto repair shops in Latvia.
Co-founded by Arvis Zeile, Maxim Fjodorov, and Mareks Veinbergs, each of the trio brings with them a background in the automotive industry. “We’ve been working for about three years in the automotive industries, all three co-founders are entrepreneurs, and met on a project for a spare parts distributor,” said Fjodorov in an interview with BetaKit. “We’ve been doing a lot of projects related to data analytics and supply chain management. During those projects, we realized that actually in terms of technology, car repair shops are kind of left behind. It’s a unsexy space and no one pays a lot of attention to their operations.”
According to Fjodorov, there are 240 million cars in the U.S. alone, with almost 70 percent getting serviced in independent repair shops rather than dealerships. The team set out to create a tool that would help those independent repair shops build better customer relationships, loyalty, and ultimately retention. Repairy’s cloud-based solution aims to help repair shops process customer requests faster than traditional systems, which has the potential to save shops hundreds of admin processing minutes. It also provides internal tasks management and collaboration features, so admin staff can prepare quotes, select spare parts, see updates in real-time. On the backend, it integrates with industry catalogs and analyzes data for each customer visit to generate recommendations, prompting staff to remind customers of updates such as required oil changes and how to save on mileage.
The SaaS startup is still in the midst of finalizing its exact pricing strategy, but Fjodorov expects it to be around $50 per month for a small repair shops and up to $200 per month for a multi-location larger shop. The team also plans to build out an enterprise plan for backend integration with larger dealerships.
Another startup looking to disrupt the auto repair space is YourMechanic, a “we come to you” service provider that lets qualified mechanics set up a profile on its platform and enable customers to choose the time and location for when they’d like the repair done at their own convenience. BetaKit covered the startup when it launched and raised $1.8 million, with YourMechanic later going on the win TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012. However, given the popularity of auto repair shops, Repairy’s biggest competition is current admin management systems.
The company is currently working on developing mobile apps for admin staff, as well as its own API to let other developers build on its platform, letting repair shops choose which features they would want to integrate. It will also be looking to open up the platform in public beta, and sees a lot of market opportunity in the U.S. where it is considering setting up additional offices. Its emphasis on providing a cloud-based CRM system with an easy onboarding process could help it win over repair shops, but whether that’s a large enough market to build a sustainable business around remains to be seen.