San Francisco-based RepairPal, an online source for information on auto repair and maintenance, has landed a $13-million round of funding led by Cars.com and Castrol InnoVentures. RepairPal says this investment will allow it to add more product enhancements and additional “Top Shops” to its network.
RepairPal’s Top Shop program launched last year. It was initially available only to independent repair shops. However, RepairPal had always planned to expand Top Shop to car dealers as well. So, it should come as no surprise that this new funding will mean an even greater dealership presence on RepairPal.
According to a statement from Cars.com, the investment positions it to further develop the service category with items for consumers seeking help and advice when it comes to maintaining their vehicles, and for dealerships looking to boost their service business. Cars.com says in its statement that it intends to develop new offerings to help its local dealer partners reach vehicle owners in need of service and repair and to “more effectively compete for their business.”
“We already see a high level of interest in service and repair from our visitors. In fact, more than a quarter of dealership reviews on our site are about a service and repair experience,” Mitch Golub, Cars.com president, is quoted as saying in the release. “By providing our large audience access to even more credible information about service and repair providers, we can help drive additional value to our advertisers’ business, driving results for their fixed operations, in addition to new and used car sales.”
Cars.com is a site for consumers seeking information on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. It has had a business relationship with RepairPal since 2009. Up until recently, RepairPal has only been a featured content partner on Cars.com, giving visitors to the car buying site access to auto repair and maintenance estimates, advice for common problems from expert technicians and more.
Castrol InnoVentures is a new investment arm for the motor oil and lubricant giant, Castrol. Roy Williamson, managing director of Castrol InnoVentures, said the firm is looking for leaders in the automotive industry that will help it achieve its goal of moving the Castrol brand beyond oils and lubricants and into the technology world. “RepairPal, with its online and mobile tools for consumers and its transformative Top Shop network of trusted repair shops, is in the sweet spot of helping improve the auto repair experience for customers,” Williamson explained. “We see this as a global opportunity.”
“Cars.com and Castrol are two names that almost every car owner knows and trusts,” said RepairPal CEO Art Shaw. “Having two leaders in the industry fund the growth of our network of auto repair shops is a tremendous validation of the role RepairPal will play in the lifecycle of car ownership and maintenance. This investment will accelerate our efforts to help customers find and choose the right repair shop for their car needs.”
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