Online marketplace for car repairs, Autobutler, raises €5.8m to transform the garage experience for European car-owners
London & Copenhagen, July 15, 2014:
Autobutler, the leading online platform for car maintenance and servicing, has raised €5.8m in a round led by Index Ventures, to expand across Europe, with initial focus on Germany and the UK. To date, 140,000 customers have used Autobutler to find a reliable and cost-effective garage to repair or service their car, choosing from a growing list of 3,300 regional and national garage chains as well as independent workshops. Car-owners have long encountered a range of problems, when searching for a suitable garage to fix or service their vehicle. Common, well-documented complaints from drivers include the lack of consistency and transparency, and the fact that there are few reliable ways - beyond word of mouth – to vet quality of work and customer service in advance.
Autobutler was founded to rectify all these issues and end unpleasant surprises, by enabling its customers to search online for a local garage, compare prices and verify garages’ credentials. A user simply selects their make and model of car on the site, the work that needs to be undertaken, along with a location, and the job goes out to tender. Within 24 hours, the car-owner receives up to three offers from vetted local garages, and can read customer reviews before making their choice. Meanwhile, Autobutler is proven to help participating garages grow their customer bases, while offering them greater online and marketing visibility via its platform, as well as a dashboard for managing daily workflow and soliciting/bidding for upcoming repair and service jobs. So far the company has helped partner garages generate tens of millions in additional revenues. Having more than doubled its own revenues every year since launch, Autobutler is set to become Europe’s largest online marketplace for car repairs by the end of the year.
As well as adding partner garages in the UK and Germany - car repair markets worth £1.1bn and €2.5bn, respectively – the company will use the investment to expand its world class CRM-system for garages and boost customer numbers through increased marketing.
“Autobutler has created a whole new marketplace for car owners and garages with a product that benefits all parts of the value chain,” said the firm’s Global CEO and Partner Christian Legêne. “Since we were founded four years ago, the company has brought substantial revenues to its partnership garages and value and peace of mind to their customers. We believe there is a big market for expansion in the UK and Germany, and see it as an honour that one of Europe’s most prestigious investors, Index Ventures, chose to invest in our business, as we enter our next phase of growth.”
Index General Partner Ben Holmes, who will join the Autobutler board, added:
“Building an online marketplace can be challenging. First, there is the technical challenge of building a product that addresses all the needs of consumers and participating businesses. In parallel the company must build up its network of suppliers and generate customer demand. We are convinced that in Christian, Peter and the Autobutler team, the requisite ingredients – a blend of great product insight, a highly effective sales and marketing engine and operational best practice - are all there, and we’re very excited to be working with them.”
Index Ventures lead the €5.8m founding round with participation from existing investors including Dawn Capital and Nordic venture capital firm Creandum.