Those of us covering startups use the word “disruptive” all the time–probably too frequently in some cases.
But it’s certainly the right descriptor for Your Mechanic, which sends a car mechanic to your home or office to provide repair and maintenance services at roughly half the cost of what you now pay at the shop.
Since launching in September, the company has been providing this service on the peninsula and in the East Bay.
Co-founder and CEO Art Agrawal says the company’s technology platform brings major benefits to both consumers and mechanics.
“The convenience to the consumer is big here, but the real disruption in this case is that in the shop the mechanic only makes 20-30 percent of what you pay the shop. It's a huge disconnect. Can we bridge that gap?"
He continues: “Why should they work in the shop anyway? Who owns the customers? If we can use mobile technology and mobile mechanics to drive the business toward the individual customer, these guys can now earn $75-80/hour. They have a better quality of work, more flexible hours; it really changes their lives.”
Agrawal notes that, “As a customer, now I don't have to pay $150/hour any longer, now I pay him $75/hour.”
Your Mechanic, which is a Y Combinator graduate, has built a huge database to make its service available.
“It has half a billion data points – parts, tools, prices, the average time needed for specific repairs – integrated with national wholesalers for parts, and able to accept digital orders,” says Agrawal.
The mechanics hired by the company are all certified senior mechanics and carry a mobile app, which allows them to respond to requests from customers, communicate with both the customer and the parts platform, navigate to the job site, and complete the work.
“It (the app) gets smarter the more jobs you do, because the data gets better and we make that transparent to everyone,” says Agrawal.
Customers and mechanics rate each other, as is the case in most with p2p marketplaces, like the ride-sharing, and resource-sharing startups we cover frequently at 7x7.com.
“We don't take any money from the mechanic,” Agrawal explains. “We monetize our service on the parts, with a transaction fee based on the type of part, the shipping costs, etc. We feel like we can build a successful business and really make a difference in peoples lives this way.”
The company is currently developing mobile apps for customers, which will be available next year.