Discount Tire-backed RoboTire automated tyre changing system raises $7.5 million
RoboTire, a Detroit-based automotive robotics and automation startup closed a US$7.5 million investment round in October. RoboTire’s patented system uses robots to change tyres “in a fraction of the time human operators can” purportedly reducing “multiple-hour experiences to under 15 minutes”. The Series A investment round was led by The Reinalt-Thomas Corporation, which sells tyres through 1000+ branches trading under the Discount Tire and America’s Tire brands in the USA. Automotive Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, 640 Oxford Ventures and several angel investors participated in the funding round.
RoboTire CEO and Founder Victor Darolfi commented: “This is a pivotal moment for RoboTire and sets us on a path to further transform vehicle maintenance,” Darolfi said. “Our focus is to revolutionize the way tires are changed, and collaborating with Discount Tire—an iconic automotive and tire industry leader—will make our innovative technology more widely available to consumers who need both speed and service as part of their daily lives. We are immensely proud to receive this backing from our investors and know this is just the first turn down a long road to success for our company.”
“Discount Tire is excited to support RoboTire in the development of new and innovative technologies that drive a better customer experience,” said Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire. “As customer expectations around the ‘buy and book online’ experience and our ability to deliver reduced wait times continue to grow, we will continue to pursue automation and enhancements that ensure an inviting, easy and safe experience for all our customers.”
“We see RoboTire as transformative – not only for the tire industry but for the development of smarter automotive technologies and future-proofing the workforce of skilled technicians, which our industry must do a better job recruiting, training and retaining,” said Will Mapes, RoboTire chief operating officer. “We’re excited to build out and scale our operations and team in Detroit and in Michigan, the heart of American automotive engineering, with support of our new partners.”
RoboTire was founded in 2018 and has multiple patents and patents pending for its automotive systems. Founded by CEO Victor Darolfi, RoboTire aims to transform the way fleet operators, dealers and independent service providers look at tyre and wheel services.
With its 1000+ branches, Discount Tire, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, lays claim to the title the world’s largest independent retailer of tyres and wheels. Discount Tire was founded in 1960 by Bruce Halle and serves customers at more than 1,100 stores in 36 states. The company does business under the trade name Discount Tire in most of the US, America’s Tire in parts of California, and Discount Tire Direct in markets outside the reach of retail stores. Their latest tool, Treadwell, is a proprietary online tyre buying guide that uses decades of data and individual driving habits to recommend tyres.