Investors like what they see in Wrench.
The Seattle-based on-site car repair startup today announced a $4 million Series A round led by Madrona Venture Group, which previously co-led the company’s $1.2 million seed round last year.
Angel investors like super angel Rudy Gadre; TravelBank co-founder Ching-Ho Fung; former Dwellable CEO Kirby Winfield; Versium founder Kevin Marcus; and angel group Vashon Partners also participated.
Wrench will use the fresh cash to hire mechanics, fuel marketing programs, and expand its presence on the west coast. The 1-year-old company currently operates in Seattle; Phoenix; San Diego; and Portland.
Much like Uber brings you a ride and GrubHub brings you food, Wrench brings you a car mechanic. Using its website or smartphone app, customers can input work they need done on their vehicle and when and where they would like mechanics to go. Anything from an office parking lot to a downtown parking garage to a customer’s driveway is fair game, though Wrench will not work on cars parked on the street for safety reasons.
A certified mechanic with at least five years of experience will perform work at a customer’s home or office, with upfront fixed price quotes. Wrench says it can do more than 80 percent of all car repair and maintenance work that can be done outside of a shop.
Much like Uber or Lyft, tips aren’t required. Examples of jobs include replacing brake pads; fixing an ignition problem; diagnosing exhaust issues; and more.
The company initially limited its services to oil changes, tune-ups and basic brake repair, but high demand led Wrench to expand services to cover almost anything that a shop or dealership would provide.
“Wrench continues to invest in its technology, which provides a huge advantage in this industry, and the hiring of the highest quality mechanics,” Wrench CEO Ed Petersen told GeekWire.
Wrench, which employs 30 people, will also add new services for customers and ink more partnerships to bolster its on-demand marketplace. Total funding to date is $5.3 million.
Wrench said it saves people an average of 2.4 hours of travel and wait time; it also claims to be as much as 30 percent less expensive than car dealership service bays, while its prices are on par with independent car repair shops. Its service is backed by a 1-year, 12,000 mile guarantee on both parts and labor.
Peterson has been working with the same team for more than a decade. He and some his current colleagues founded and sold Intelius, a public record search company, and TalentWise, which does background checks and other screening services.
The car repair industry is pegged at around $60 billion. There are other companies like Wrench — namely, Your Mechanic, which just raised $24 million earlier this month. And then there’s Fiix, which just launched out of Y Combinator.
“U.S. consumers spend more than $60 billion annually on car repairs and maintenance and the service model hasn’t changed meaningfully since the invention of the oil change shop,” Madrona Managing Director Len Jordan said in a statement. “Wrench applies modern mobile, internet commerce and data analytics techniques to this market and delivers a physical service that consumers need multiple times a year.”