Book My Garage
UK's first real-time price comparison platform for car servicing, MOTs and repairs.
Book My Garage is exploiting the transformational potential of the web for the £13.5bn garage after-sales market.
62% of people would prefer to book their car service without speaking to a retailer over the phone, but less than 8% of after-sales garages offer online booking.
Book My Garage intends to lead the digitisation of this market:
For consumers – a real-time comparison of garage prices for car servicing, MOTs and repairs. Consumers enter their car registration and post code and receive real-time quotes from local garages, can read consumer reviews on the garages, and make a booking.
For garages – we are pursuing a 'land-grab' of signing garages on a subscription basis, providing websites with pricing and booking widgets, and managing the garage’s social media, digital marketing and search engine optimisation to drive customer engagement. We also provide a back office system to control online pricing as well as a booking calendar and management reporting.
We enable garages to exploit the web, drive incremental bookings, enhance the customer experience and reduce admin.
At the core of the price comparison platform is a sophisticated “matrix” of the number of mechanic hours required to undertake each type of service for all vehicle models. The garage logs in and enters its hourly labour rate, which populates the matrix.
We consider ourselves the first and sole real-time price comparison platform, with the following USPs:
Competitor quote sites source garage quotes in response to consumer enquiries. This can be unpopular with garages as there is a low win rate, and unpopular with consumers as it is not real-time.
Broker sites give motorists a fixed price with no price comparison. This can be unpopular with garages as there is no direct relationship with the consumer, as well as a protracted line of communication if the work is required, and unpopular with consumers as they may not know where their car is going.
Substantial accomplishments to date
GROWTH IN GARAGE SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TRANSACTIONAL REVENUE
Between September 2015 and August 2016, we have signed up on average 292 garages per month. With over 8,000 currently signed up, we are one of the largest network of independent garages in the UK.*
Between September 2015 and August 2016, recurring subscription revenue from garages grew by 19% per month.*
Average subscription revenue per garage grown from £40 to £55 per month between April and August 2016.*
Between September 2015 and August 2016, consumer bookings grew by over 453%.*
MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH A TRACK RECORD IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR AND BUILDING DIGITAL COMPANIES.
Douglas Rotberg, CEO, has built a number of motor related internet businesses over the past 30 years, including Auto-Online, Carsite and then Tesco Cars.
Neil Pattinson, Chief Technology Officer, was formerly Head of IT for Auto-Online and Tesco Cars.
Karen Rotberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Founder and Director Jobsite and Auto-Online.
DIRECTORS AND BOARD WITH STRONG BREADTH AND DEPTH.
David Riemenschneider, former CEO of Clifford Thames, a leading global player in the creation and management of data needed to repair and maintain vehicles for major vehicle manufacturers has joined as a board advisor.
Craig Stevens, former Group Director of Sales and Digital Marketing at Trader Media, where he was integral to transforming Auto Trader from a paper publication into one of the world’s largest automotive digital companies.
Ashridge Capital, an experienced private equity investor, has invested over £1m in Book My Garage.
*Source; Unaudited Management Accounts
- a monthly subscription. The full package is £170/month. We aim to increase average subscription revenue per garage through up-sells as each garage realises the benefits of digital marketing, and new product additions, including managing a garage's social media and direct marketing; search engine optimisation to drive Google rankings; and "View My Auto," which enables garage to send a video of work required and the price to consumers with an accept/reject button - gives faster repair authorisation and transparency and trust for the consumer.
- a commission of £1.50 per booking.
There are currently c8,000 garages listed on Book My Garage, providing warm leads for the field sales team to sell monthly subscriptions, which commenced 9 months ago - in August we had 377 garages signed up, and this has been growing by an average of 30% per month between September 2015 and August 2016.
Focusing on independent garages and franchise groups throughout the UK.
Use of proceeds
Having proven the business model and experienced significant growth in subscription and transactional revenue, we want to capitalise on our first mover advantage and are raising £600k to:
- recruit additional field sales staff to “land grab” garages and accelerate the growth in sales.
- increase onboarding and account management staff to support extra sales.
- upgrade back office software/CRM and sales reporting tools.
- provide working capital as the business continues to grow.
The CEO currently has the benefit of preference shares in the company which entitle him to a total preferred return of £190,000, subject to EBITDA targets, commencing at £1m. The intention of this class of share is to finance the Company, with repayments being made only when the Company is deemed able to afford it.
The market opportunity is significant – there are 25,000 garages serving over 30m cars in the UK, 27m of which require a compulsory annual MOT, and an ad, as consumers retain their vehicles for longer.
There is proven demand from consumers and garages for on-line price comparison and bookings, with the market following online ordering trends in parallel markets, like Just East in online food and Tripadvisor in online travel.
Characteristics of target market
It is estimated that there are 30 million cars on the road, and an average spend of £695 per car. This leads to a market worth more than £20 billion.
Independent garages account for 64% of the service/MOT/repair market by volume; franchise garages represent 36%; and "fast fit" groups, e.g. Halford, Kwik Fit account for the balance.
Independent garages are gaining market share from franchise garages following EU legislation to support the right of consumers to take their car, no matter how old, to any garage they choose without breaching manufacturer's warranties.
Book My Garage estimates that only c8% of garages have on-line pricing/booking.
Book My Garage is building consumer awareness of the brand through:
- Search engine optimisation to enhance Google rankings.
- Email marketing to a garage's customers when their car service/MOT is due. If the customers clicks through to the garage or Book My Garage web site, Book My Garage is able to retain the consumers's name, email address and when their car service/MOT is due. As such, Book My Garage is building a valuable database of consumer data, which it is leveraging for target emails to consumers.
- Establishing, managing and creating content for a garage's social media marketing, including Facebook and Twitter.
Book My Garage is recruiting additional field sales people to "land grab" garages. The initial focus is on the c8,000 garages currently signed up to Book My Garage, with meetings booked by the telesales team and taken by the field sales team. The current focus is on large population areas. The field sales team are opportunistic at calling in on other garages in their geography which have not been targeted.
Our strategic focus is on:
- attracting and retaining garages on a subscription basis and up-selling products and services that add value to them. We are continuing to invest in our price comparison platform and technology infrastructure to enhance our offering.
- building consumer awareness of the Book My Garage brand and continue to grow our transactional revenue.
- building a database of consumer names, emails and when their car service and MOT are due, which we can for direct marketing to drive brand awareness, and which will have significant value to potential buyers at exit, particularly those in the automotive industry.
We believe that we are a compelling investment proposition:
- the market opportunity is significant.
- we consider that we have first mover advantage.
- the business model is proven, with growth in recurring garage subscriptions and transactional revenue and management.
- the management team and Board have breadth and depth and comprise of existing entrepreneurs in the automotive and digital sectors.
- Ashridge Capital has invested over £1m and is participating in this funding round.
A full Investment Memorandum is available.