UK’s largest online car repair marketplace secures £4m investment
The UK’s largest online car repair marketplace has secured £4 million from investors including Shell Ventures, Sir Trevor Chinn, Active Partners and Venrex Investment Management.
WhoCanFixMyCar.com was launched in 2011 by two former investment bankers, Al Preston and Ian Griffiths, and has since become the biggest online marketplace for drivers and garages in the UK. The company has offices in Newcastle upon Tyne, London and Kiev.
WhoCanFixMyCar.com is the UK’s leading local garage and mechanic comparison service, allowing drivers to post jobs and receive quotes from local garages and mechanics. The platform currently has 11,500 garages registered to the site, has processed 1 million repair requests from UK drivers and receives circa 60,000 new job requests from drivers every month.
The UK aftermarket industry generated a revenue of £21.6 billion in 2016 according to the SMMT. Garages on WhoCanFixMyCar.com have seen an increase in business since joining the platform, with single site garages obtaining circa 600 new customers per year through the platform and top regional groups securing 3,000-4,000 bookings per year.
Shell, a leading global energy company and the world’s number one global lubricants manufacturer, has invested in WhoCanFixMyCar.com via its corporate venture capital arm, Shell Ventures, which supports both business and fund-led deals in areas of strategic interest for Shell. This investment follows the development of the Shell Helix Service Specialist Network, a recently launched scheme which allows independent workshops on the WhoCanFixMyCar.com site to be officially associated with Shell.
Other investors include Active Partners, which has stakes in household names such as Evans Cycles, Rapha, Leon and Soho House. Venrex Investment Management is another stakeholder and has previously invested in Just Eat, Not on the High Street and Revolut. Sir Trevor Chinn, who is the chairman of WhoCanFixMyCar.com and has previously chaired other automotive companies, such as the AA, Kwik Fit and RAC, has also invested.
Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said: “This is a really exciting time for the company. The whole team have worked extremely hard to bring the business to this point, where we can attract such interesting partners for our next stage of growth.
“The plan will be to keep scaling our activities and consolidate our position in the UK. We are also focusing on new products and solutions that will further benefit our garage network and provide car owners with a better, richer experience when it comes to car maintenance and repairs.”
Commenting on the announcement, Huibert Vigeveno, executive vice president for Global Commercial, Shell, said, “The aftermarket sector is changing rapidly as technology savvy customers seek products and services which are easier and more convenient to use. Shell wants to be at the forefront of shaping those products and services. Digital and services partnerships such as this investment in WhoCanFixMyCar.com are very much part of our future growth strategy.”