Wrench: Hassle-Free, On-Site Car Repair Services
September 10, 2020 | Scott Murphy
Car owners spend an average of 2.5 waiting for their vehicles to be repaired, even though most jobs can be done within a couple hours. This requires drivers to drop off and pick up their car and potentially use a rental car in the meantime. The COVID-19 pandemic has added health concerns to this process given the in-person appointments required to coordinate a potentially simple car repair.
Wrench, an Alumni Ventures Group (AVG) portfolio company, removes this hassle by providing an online platform where drivers can book appointments for on-site car repair services. The company’s model offers convenience to consumers and cost savings for mechanics, with additional fleet management benefits for larger clients.
Fully Managed Mechanics Service
Launched in Seattle in 2016, Wrench has grown its network of mechanics to serve cities in 48 states and Washington D.C. Drivers can manage the full repair process through Wrench’s site or app. Customers simply detail their needed repairs, approve a quoted price, and schedule an appointment when and where is most convenient. A certified mechanic will complete the repairs on site and record all details in the Wrench app.
Wrench’s hiring model is more similar to telemedicine platforms than ridesharing services. To maintain high-quality service and a qualified staff, the company only hires full-time, salaried mechanics. Working with Wrench offers its own kind of convenience for mechanics, with appointments scheduled automatically and a centralized platform to manage each job.
Customers will have a record of each appointment and can be notified when they should schedule a routine inspection or follow-up appointment. This is particularly valuable for Wrench’s fleet customers, who rely on their vehicles to run their business. One facilities manager uses Wrench to coordinate repairs and maintenance for 500 company vehicles.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Wrench is offering contactless repairs, ideal for eliminating travel and promoting social distancing. The company has established safety protocols for mechanics and customers, including an option to set a drop-off location for keys in advance.
Established C-Suite and Investor Syndicate
Wrench’s growth since 2016 has been led by an experienced management team. CEO Ed Peterson is a serial entrepreneur who has driven close to $1 billion in exits to shareholders. The entire management team has relevant startup and operational backgrounds, and most have worked with Peterson on his previous ventures. The lead investors on Wrench’s most recent rounds are established, blue chip firms, including Tenaya Capital, Madrona Venture Group, and Vulcan Capital.
AVG secured a spot in both rounds through a relationship established by its Office of Investing and fund for the Stanford community, Spike Ventures. After following Wrench’s strong business model and growth, AVG reached out to Peterson directly to discuss a potential investment opportunity. AVG’s position as a value-add co-investor appealed to Wrench. Additionally, Spike was able to leverage an alumni connection with a Board Member and Series B lead, who earned an MBA from Stanford.
Spike sponsored AVG’s participation in Wrench’s 2018 Series B round led by Tenaya Capital. The following year, AVG re-invested in a $20 million Series C led by Vulcan Capital, with additional participation from Madrona Venture Group, Tenaya Capital, and Marubeni Corporation. Other invested AVG funds include Chestnut Street Ventures (for the Penn community), Fission Ventures (for the Columbia community), The Yard Ventures (for the Harvard community), and AVG’s Total Access Fund.