Wrench, the mobile vehicle maintenance and repair startup, has been cranking on business during the coronavirus pandemic as more customers are seizing on what was already a contactless service.
“Wrench has been thriving amid the pandemic,” Ed Peterson, CEO of the 4-year-old company, told GeekWire. “We’re seeing significant growth in services and repairs for fleet vehicles, specifically.”
Seattle-based Wrench has seen a 300% year-over-year increase in revenue for its repair business tied to fleet vehicles, driven by a high demand in recent months among delivery vehicles and those who operate them.
On Tuesday, the company announced a new partnership with Tirescanner, an online tire retailer and mobile tire installation service, to offer that service to fleet operators. Wrench technicians will gain access to a nationwide network of mobile tire vans, providing next-day install scheduling of any brand or tire for most vehicles.
Wrench employs “mobile mechanics” around the country that come to the customer to do repair jobs without a physical shop or dealership. Repairs can be done anywhere from an office parking lot to a downtown parking garage to a customer’s driveway. The company raised $20 million for its tech-fueled platform in November.
Casey Willis, co-founder and VP of business development for Wrench, said tires have been a constant pain point.
“Fleet managers can’t afford to have vehicles out of service for days, especially during this difficult time when fleet operations are essential to the health and safety of consumers,” Willis said in a news release.
Peterson believes that mobile car repair and maintenance will become a permanent habit after the pandemic and that a “culture of convenience” has completely turned entire industries on their heads. It’s what Wrench is aiming to do with vehicle repair.
“Even before the pandemic, our fleet business was growing because businesses are rapidly responding to this culture of convenience and are having to compete with consumer expectations of two-day delivery,” Peterson said. He added that new car sales have taken a hit and consumers are either buying used cars or looking to repair over replace, which translates to needing more maintenance and repair services.
Customers book a service call through the company’s app and Wrench is pushing automation further with over 40% of its jobs going through its fully automated process. The company diagnoses, prices and schedules follow-up services without ever seeing the vehicle and over 85% of repairs and services are completed on the first stop without ever seeing the vehicle, Peterson said.
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