NuBrakes Raises $9M for Its Mobile Auto Repair Service
Walker Drewett was a 22-year-old college student at the University of Texas when he launched a car wash and detailing business with $5,000.
He and his co-founders washed the first 4,500 cars themselves and grew the business to seven figures in revenue before realizing their customers needed more than a car wash.
Drewett told Built In that his customers needed auto maintenance and repairs that they had put off due to the cost and the inconvenience of visiting an auto mechanic.
In May 2019, Drewett launched NuBrakes, an autotech startup that allows people to schedule brake repair, oil changes, battery replacements and other routine maintenance services at the location of their choice.
Drewett, now 27, announced Wednesday that he has raised $9 million in Series A funding, bringing NuBrakes’ total fundraising to $12 million.
NuBrakes currently serves customers in nine markets: Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Atlanta and Tampa. With the additional funding, Drewett plans to double the company’s market footprint, reaching nearly 20 cities by the end of 2022.
The Austin-based company employs 110 people, 40 of which are auto mechanics spread across the nine markets. The remaining 70 employees work in operations, product, engineering, marketing and sales.
The new funding will go toward doubling the workforce of 110 employees to 220 employees, about half of which will be auto mechanics. The technicians are full-time employees who receive benefits, stock options and steady work schedules.
The Series A funding round was led by Canvas Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Contrary Capital, Bling Capital, and Automotive Ventures.
NuBrakes is also in the process of building proprietary technology that uses a third-party telematics software to connect directly with vehicles and gather data such as mileage, which the company then uses to build a preventative maintenance schedule.
By connecting to the vehicle, NuBrakes also learns in real time when the vehicle encounters a problem, like a flat tire or a check engine light. The company then sends an alert to the customer and helps them schedule a repair visit.
“We envision a world where you never take a vehicle to the shop again, where your vehicle is capable of predicting and scheduling its own service needs, and a first-class service provider shows up to deliver the services needed,” Drewett said.
NuBrakes has already implemented this technology with its fleet maintenance program.
By connecting with on-board telematics systems, NuBrakes is able to automate vehicle maintenance for fleets of vehicles used by plumbers, landscapers, delivery drivers and field service workers.
Drewett said its services cost 30 percent less than brick-and-mortar auto shops. Additionally, Drewett said, NuBrakes boasts a 90 net promoter score in an industry where he said the average is -13.