Pitstop, India's most trusted tech-enabled multi-brand car service provider has raised USD 3.5 million in a Pre-series-B. The funding was led by Ventureast with participation from ACKO Technologies, LetsVenture, AngelList India, Blume Ventures, among others. The company has earlier raised funding from a marquee list of investors which includes Landmark Cars (one of India's largest car dealership chain), Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma from Livspace, Rahul Garg from Moglix, Shailesh Rao to name a few.
Pitstop will use this funding to strengthen its end-to-end car maintenance operations in the existing cities and further expand to 20 additional cities by the end of the year.
As part of this expansion, Pitstop will be adding 250 service vans, which are its primary mode of delivering car maintenance and service. Pitstop will also be enrolling 350 garages to build the required geographical penetration into each new city added. Pitstop is currently fully operational in 5 cities including the NCR region.
Pitstop envisages 2021 to be a period of hyper-growth as more and more customers are looking for safer, more reliable, and at-home car service options. The company achieved an average monthly growth of 40% in 2020. The biggest surge in its customer base came from women car owners, growing from a negligible level in early 2020 to close to 23% today. A significant portion of its customer base comes from the IT corridors and suburbs, which has higher density of non-local population. As part of its expansion plans, it aims to make a more homogeneous inroads across the cities where it has a significant presence.
One of the key developments has been the increased procurement of spare parts by garages. Over 50% of the existing garage partners now source their spare parts from Pitstop. The platform is also looking at a 40-50% growth per month since the lockdown to further "disrupt" the car service, repair, maintenance industry in India.
"Technology is at the core of what we do, and our investors have recognized it. Our goal has always been to provide a hassle-free and seamless doorstep car servicing experience. And, the Pitstop app complements our goal by providing a one stop solution for customers looking to get their car serviced, repaired, and maintained with minimum touchpoints. The current capital infusion will enable us to strengthen our operations in the existing locations and at the same time tap the rich talent pool available in India" said Mihir Mohan, Founder, Pitstop.
"Pitstop is pioneering a new paradigm in the automotive after-sales market as a one stop solution for auto service needs, including their signature doorstep and roadside emergency services. Ventureast is excited to be partnering with Pitstop as it scales its operations pan-India and integrates the critical supply chain in its operations." Said Siddhartha Das, General Partner, Ventureast.
We were impressed with the team's ability to execute at scale with high customer satisfaction. Their focus on curating supply on spares and services and using technology to provide complete transparency to their customers was impressive. Vinay Rao, Principal - Ventureast.
India has more than 32 million cars but there are only 8500 authorized car service centers. Most car owners rely on neighborhood garages for taking care of their vehicles, visiting an authorized center only for major issues. Most of these small garages are ill-equipped both in terms of technical capability as well as access to the latest machinery and equipment needed by modern cars. While the authorized service centers are overburdened and focus on replace-over-repair. The entire industry in general lacks transparency as the average customer does not know or trust what happens with his car inside the service center.
Pitstop has been solving all these problems for its customers. The company does this by focusing on transparency and quality. Pitstop provides its customers with upfront pricing, automatic diagnostics, real-time updates, and service warranty. The company segregates all services as those that can be done at home and those that need a garage. When regular service and maintenance is done at the home of the customer, it is saving time and money for the car owner while keeping the service bays at the garages free for more complex car repair and maintenance. As the business model is built around the existing neighborhood garages, by training them, equipping their garages, and ensuring real-time access to OEM spares, Pitstop helps professionalize and organize the industry.
Pitstop has built a seamless platform with over 250+ garages, where it helps garages upskill their technicians, procure genuine spare parts and provide consumers with a service warranty. The aim here is to build a rapport of trust amongst customers and uphold transparency. With its unique home service offering, Pitstop brings transparency, accountability, and convenience to India's broken car repair experience.