Walking into an auto repair shop can sometimes feel like taking a step into the past. The handwritten notes and receipts, the clunky point-of-sales system and scheduling tools — if those are even there — can make customers feel like they’re in the 1990s, not the 21st century. Shopmonkey is trying to change that, reports Tech Crunch.
“It’s been an amazing industry to serve that I just feel like has trailed modern times and modern services by a factor of five to 10 years,” Shopmonkey CEO Ashot Iskandarian said in a recent interview with TechCrunch.
His company offers a cloud-based shop management software designed for the auto repair industry. Now, less than a year after announcing a $25 million Series B, Shopmonkey has garnered another fresh round of capital. The company has raised a $75 million Series C led by previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Index Ventures, as well as additional participation from returning investors Headline and I2BF, and new investor ICONIQ Growth.
The financing will be used to grow Shopmonkey’s product, sales and marketing teams, and further fuel development of its platform.
Iskandarian noticed that many auto repair shops were victims to their own processes: owners bogged down using many different tools and platforms to perform tasks like invoicing, scheduling and parts ordering. Or else they’re using a shop management system that’s downloaded on a single, local machine. “That’s the world that these shops are coming from,” he said.
Shopmonkey consolidates these different functions into a single cloud-based tool, so it can be accessed on multiple computers, tablets or smartphones. The software also helps the shop communicate with customers, by providing appointment reminders, confirmations and upsell offers.
Iskandarian founded Shopmonkey in 2017. Since that time, its workforce has grown to more than 125 people, and over 2,500 shops use the software. He said that changing demographic trends amongst shop owners and customer pressure has led more and more auto repair shops to look for a management solution.
Like many sectors, the auto repair industry took a hit during the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s bouncing back: According to one report, it’s expected to recover and grow 7% this year, as millions of people get back on the road or decide to purchase a used car. That’s good news for auto repair shops — and for Shopmonkey, which sees opportunity in this increased demand.
COVID and other dynamics have placed “massive tailwinds on the automotive aftermarket with used cars, used cars repairs, and just that whole sector,” Iskandarian said. “It’s a good time to be a founder and it’s a good time to be in auto repair.”