For car owners, getting their vehicle repaired or even dealing with routine maintenance can be a pain. Launching today, a company called CarDash wants to make auto service less painful and more transparent.
Available initially in the Bay Area, CarDash works with a number of local service centers so that it can ensure a high quality of work, while also reducing the cost and amount of time it takes for repairs to be completed.
To help people on the go, the company offers an end-to-end concierge service, so car owners will no longer have to drop off their vehicles at a service center before work or pick them up at the end of the day. Instead CarDash sends a driver to their home or place of business and can usually have their car checked out within a couple of hours.
Once an initial diagnosis is done, CarDash will provide the car owner with a transparent price quote of the work that needs to be done and the cost of parts and service. The company references manufacturer recommendations as well as car service records to determine what usually needs to be done, and has part pricing data to estimate the usual cost.
Because CarDash can drive a higher volume of vehicles to the different service centers it partners with, the company can demand that its customers’ cars are looked at faster than someone driving in off the street. It also gets better pricing and makes money off the difference between what service centers charge it and the price the company quotes to customers.
The idea is to reduce or even eliminate the distrust that comes with taking one’s car to a service center, only to find that a problem isn’t fixed or that an initial diagnosis comes with a long list of other problems a mechanic might claim needs to be fixed.
Because CarDash is managing customer support, it’s incentivized to work with service centers that it knows are going to get the job done well. And because CarDash is sending mechanics business, they are incentivized to play things straight with the company.
According to founder and CEO Yinon Weiss, that means running mechanics through a rigorous screening process and occasionally doing operational testing to ensure that service centers are taking care of maintenance and problems that are diagnosed without adding additional charges to a customer’s bill.
CarDash has been operating for about a year in the San Francisco Bay Area. To date it has gotten customers mostly by partnering with local tech companies as a benefit to employees who don’t have the time to deal with having their cars looked at while working. However, the company is opening its service to anyone who might have car trouble.
CarDash is part of the current Y Combinator batch, but that hasn’t stopped it from bringing on seed funding from a group of early investors. The company has raised $5.3 million in funding led by Index Ventures and Felicis Ventures, with participation by Y Combinator, Afore Capital, NextView Ventures and NextGen Venture Partners.
With the funding, CarDash is looking to expand its team and grow operations. That means working with more local companies, growing its service center partnerships and, over time, making its service available in a greater geographic area.