Mobile auto repair service attracting investor interest


RepairSmith, a startup that provides mobile automotive service to a customer’s location, says it has raised a new $ 42 million funding round from investors.

The agenda is to dramatically expand its territory, and potentially enroll automakers who would designate RepairSmith as the preferred supplier, for dealers to provide customers with non-dealership service using co-branded versions of RepairSmith’s vans and RepairSmith technicians, says Joel Milne, co-founder and CEO.

“We are testing this in beta, with several OEMs,” Milne said in a telephone interview on Aug. 17. “Our intention is to provide this as a kind of official OEM sanctioned service. “

RepairSmith, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 2018 and launched its services in August 2019. It is the product of a start-up “incubator” supported by Daimler Technology & Venture, an offshoot of Daimler AG, company mother of Mercedes-Benz. (https://www.daimler.com/innovation/venture/techinvest-fr.html)

Besides Mercedes-Benz, RepairSmith says its investors include Porsche Ventures, TI Capital, Spring Mountain Capital and others.

Even though the business entities of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are among its investors, that doesn’t necessarily imply that these auto brands would incorporate RepairSmith into any OEM-backed plan for dealers to offer mobile service.

“You can’t deduce from that, no. We are open to working with all OEMs, ”says Milne. “Daimler decided it was better to invest in us as a start-up for multiple brands in all stores, not just Mercedes-Benz. “

Besides established manufacturers, electric vehicle start-ups without an existing service network are another potential source of business, he says.

“We started with consumers to make our operating platform and our system run smoothly. Then B2B, business-to-business – fleets, rental car fleets, we have some of the biggest delivery fleets, and local contractors, like exterminators, construction, ”says Milne. “More recently, which has always been our plan, we have started working with OEMs. “

RepairSmith already operates in Arizona, California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, according to the company. Customers include individual consumers as well as fleet operators, car rental companies and some dealers.

Services are available in 650 cities and the company says it has made more than 100,000 service appointments in the six states in which it operates. Customers can make their own appointments online and get an instant quote, says Milne.

All services are backed by a 12 month, 12,000 mile (19,320 km) warranty. The work is performed by ASE certified technicians who are employees of RepairSmith. ASE is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

For its mobile repair vans, RepairSmith uses Mercedes-Benz Metris and Sprinter vans, Milne explains.

Based on her experience to date, Milne estimates that 90% of the time RepairSmith does the job on the same day, at the location of the customer’s choice, typically in their driveway. Another 10% of the time, he says, the vehicle has to be moved elsewhere for heavier or more labor-intensive repairs.

“A clutch replacement that takes 16 hours?” We could do it at the customer’s house, but I won’t have my guy there for three days, in someone’s aisle, ”he says.

Next on the agenda, RepairSmith is expanding in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic regions, Milne said.

RepairSmith employs certified technicians in 650 cities in six states.


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