When you break down, the assumption is that you need help urgent.ly. That’s why Urgent.ly exists. This on-demand roadside assistance app aims to be the Uber of what happens if your car can’t be used as an Uber anymore.
Founded by Chris Spanos, Surendra Goel, and Luke Kathol, the service allows you to pinpoint your location and request help. Spanos, who worked as a GM of Repair.com and founded SeniorChecked, knows from car trouble. He wanted to help people in need get a better experience.
“Urgent.ly is the only roadside assistance app with technology like Uber or Lyft,” he said. “Users can see the tow truck’s location on their smartphone app – and know how soon it will arrive.”
The company raised $1.8 million in financing with a $525K seed in March 2014 from Blu Ventures and CIT GAP Funds.
“We have no annual membership fees unlike AAA or other auto clubs that require their customers to pre-pay for something they may not use,” he said. “Before clicking for service, users are told in advance the total fee they will pay by credit card, such as $99 or less for a 15-mile tow. We save customers from wasting money on paying for services they don’t use.”
The company won our weekly TC Radio pitch-off, impressing the judges with the simplicity of the message.
“When I was running Repair.com, a member of my team was extremely late for work and missed a key meeting due to a horrible experience with AAA. First they would not help her since she did not know her member number. Then, after calling her husband to get the number, they still would not help her unless her husband was with the vehicle because the membership was in his name,” said Spanos. “He left work to meet her and they were able to arrange service, they both had to wait for well over 45 minutes before the tow truck arrived. Both of their mornings were completely, and unnecessarily, ruined.”
Rather than “Uberize” Repair.com they decided to look into car repair and emergency service. By creating an app that allows users to understand exactly when to expect their tow truck gives customers and family a little piece of mind. Getting a jump costs $50 while a 15 mile tow costs $99. Anything else costs slightly more. It also allows concerned parents to send help.
While nothing beats having one of those old-time silver AAA stickers in your car (aesthetically, at least) it’s clear this space is in urgent need of disruption and Urgent.ly might be just the thing.