ClickMechanic, the U.K. startup aiming to be something like an ‘Uber for car mechanics’ by offering a marketplace that lets you easily and transparently book a mobile mechanic, has scored a modest seed round.
The London-based company, founded by Andrew Jervis and Felix Kenton, has raised £320,000 from angel investors led by former Just Eat CEO Klaus Nyengaard.
This adds to £100,000 that the young startup and graduate of so-called ‘pre-accelerator’ Entrepreneur First (EF) had previously raised from various investors, including former Director of AutoTrader, James Bromley, and Imperial Innovations.
The latter is the VC arm of Imperial College, the London university where Kenton earned his Masters in Information Systems Engineering.
Interestingly, that’s not where ClickMechanic’s academic ties end. The idea behind the startup has its roots in Jervis’ Masters thesis while he was studying for a Masters in Enterprise at The University of Manchester, focusing on the automotive repair space.
Specifically, his thesis looked at the feasibility of adopting an “aggregation model” to alleviate the problems of mistrust that are currently found in the automotive repair industry.
Prior to that, Jervis ran a website selling ‘wheel trims’, making him well-placed to understand and potentially tackle the problem. After graduating, he teamed up with Kenton at EF in October 2012 and ClickMechanic was born.
“It’s well documented that the automotive repair industry is fraught with problems. A lack of transparency, poor quality labour, and wasted time taking cars to garages have all led to a large amount of mistrust in the industry,” Jervis tells TechCrunch.
“The UK repair industry has an abundance of repair data and thousands of great mobile mechanics; we saw ClickMechanic as the best way of bringing the mechanics together in one trusted network while using data to further bring trust to users on the prices they pay.”
The ClickMechanic website not only lets you locate, receive a quote and book a nearby mobile mechanic, who will come to your home or workplace, but the startup has also built an automatic quoting system to help you know if you are being offered a competitive price. This uses data it’s licensed from manufacturers.
“The company has licensed millions of industry standard manufacturer labour times to build an instant, real-time online quoting engine, the first of its kind in Europe, empowering users to know how much they should really be paying and ensure they’re not getting ripped off,” claims Jervis. “No other automotive repair market places have this feature, with most instead offering a bid-for-jobs model.”
The startup makes money by taking a 20 per cent commission from any job that is booked via its platform. To date it says 150,000 car service and repair quotes have been sourced through the site.
ClickMechanic investor Klaus Nyengaard comments in a statement: “I work a lot with marketplaces and I was immediately impressed with the smartness of how ClickMechanic works. They are a young team with lots of drive and a new way of matching supply and demand in the mechanics industry. Exactly the kind of ambitious project I like to work with.”
(Did he just say lots of drive?)
Meanwhile, aside from Nyengaard, the list of angel investors taking part in ClickMechanic’s latest funding round includes:
- Rasmus Wolff – Former CCO of Just Eat, CCO of GetYourGuide
- Giorgio Ponticelli – Former Group Business Development Director of Just Eat, MD of New Markets at Wahanda
- Lopo Champalimaud – Founder and CEO of Wahanda
- Simon Lambert – CTO of Wahanda
- Chris Wood – CCO of Wahanda
- Leigh Phillipson – Sales Director of Wahanda
- Simon Schnieders – Former Head of SEO at Zoopla
- Andy Wilson – Former Head of Growth of GetYourGuide
- Ian Hooper – Former Vice President of Seamless