When you need your car repaired, it’s usually in your garage or parked outside your home. You can drive it somewhere to be fixed, but what if it’s broken down? How will you get home when you drop it off? And what crazy huge bill will be waiting for you when you pick it up?
NuBrakes aims to ease all these pain points by sending mobile technicians direct to people’s homes and to fleet operators as well, with superior work that’s “up to 30% more affordable than brick and mortar auto shops.” Investors are so impressed, the company announced $9 million in Series A financing today.
Based in Austin with strong Dallas presence
NuBrakes operates in nine markets across Texas, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. It’s based in Austin, but has a main office in Dallas, where the startup had its first market launch in 2019. Dallas continues to be NuBrakes’ biggest market, with the company providing 44,000 services on 21,000 job calls.
Dallas is also the home base of some of the company’s leadership. One recent Dallas hire is Dave Sandifer, VP of operations, who’s helping the company expand into a demand-side service for fleet operators and field service organizations.
“As last-mile logistics becomes an increasingly important competitive advantage for businesses, full-service, trustworthy, customer-obsessed, data-driven maintenance services are critical to business success,” Sandifer told Dallas Innovates. “NuBrakes simplifies our fleet customers’ operations and improves their vehicle uptime, ultimately growing their capacity to deliver their services to their own customers.”
Funding round was led by Canvas Ventures
The $9 million funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based Canvas Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Contrary Capital, Bling Capital, Automotive Ventures, and Capital Factory—which believes investors should treat Texas like one big city.
Mike Ghaffary, general partner at Canvas Ventures and former CEO of Eat24, and Ben Ling, general partner at Bling Capital and an early investor in Lyft, Instacart, and Square, will both join NuBrakes’ board of directors.
NuBrakes has raised a total of $12 million to date. One of the fastest-growing auto tech companies in the U.S., it boasts triple-digit growth rates and 8 figures in annualized revenue.
Doubling in size, expanding nationwide, and offering more services
NuBrakes plans to use the $9M funding to more than double the size of its team and expand nationwide. It will also expand beyond brake repair to offer additional mobile services including oil changes, tire changes, tune-ups, suspension work, and more.
“Consumers and businesses spend $185 billion per year on auto maintenance, repair, and tire services,” said Walker Drewett, founder and CEO of NuBrakes, in a statement. “This number is much higher when you factor in the opportunity cost of managing repairs, including lost revenue, and time spent on each service for business fleets.”
“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 added.
A predictive telematics platform
In what it calls an industry first, NuBrakes will deploy a predictive telematics platform that can transform auto service from a reactive process to an automated self-service process for customers. NuBrakes will own the end-to-end servicing of each vehicle through the company’s team of full-time technicians.
Earning trust and good reviews
In a sector that often fuels bad Yelp reviews, NuBrakes has gotten good marks. It boasts a 90 Net Promoter Score in an industry where the average is a dismal -13, with two of three consumers distrusting their auto service provider.
Across the Dallas area, NuBrakes has earned a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Google and Yelp, with more than 3,500 5-star reviews.
Incentivizing employees to deliver ‘unmatched service’
NuBrakes says it seeks to revitalize middle class jobs by providing terms that motivate its technicians to deliver unmatched service. Its packages include stable work hours, W-2 salaried wages, company stock options, and full benefits.
“NuBrakes provides their technicians with a real skilled labor opportunity, beyond just being a gig worker,” said Mike Ghaffary, general partner at Canvas Ventures, in the statement. “While other marketplaces made noise about wishing to give stock options to their labor force or gig workers, NuBrakes actually made that happen. Their skilled techs have all received stock options in the company, as well as an apprentice program and regular training opportunities for technicians of all levels to learn more skills and advance in their careers—whether at NuBrakes or at their next employer.”
Working with mobile fleet operators
Expanding beyond individual drivers, NuBrakes has become a full service solution for mobile fleet operators. Everyone from plumbers to landscape crews, delivery drivers, and field service workers can carry on-board telematics systems that connect with NuBrakes for proactive and scheduled service.
NuBrakes says its Fleet Maintenance as a Service platform allows fleet operators to automate their vehicle maintenance, organizing all scheduling, inspection history, communications, and payments in one location.
Kimani Frank, owner of FastDash, an Amazon Delivery Service Partner shared in the statement that “NuBrakes saves us 15% on each repair, enables us to increase production output of each vehicle, and ensures the safety of our drivers at all times.”
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.