Nine months after announcing a $5 million seed round, Toronto auto repair software company AutoLeap is back with $18 million in Series A funding, this time led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Joining Bain in the round is existing investor Threshold Ventures, which led the seed round, to give the company $23 million in total funding.
Co-CEO Steve Lau told TechCrunch that AutoLeap is bringing the auto repair shop into the 21st century by reducing the double- or triple-entry shop owners typically have to do through the digitization of their workflow — customer quoting, invoices and job estimates — and the processing of all of that in the backend accounting. It also provides a sales and marketing component via customer relationship management, scheduling via app, customer texting or emails and online reviews.
Since the seed round and launching last year, the company has grown “well beyond expectations, Lau said. From a team perspective, the company has grown five times and increased 10 times in customer base. Revenue also continues to grow month over month.
“We are more convinced about the market opportunity and our fit in it,” he added. “One of our first customers also recently shared that in the first 10 months of using AutoLeap, his shop doubled its revenue. This is having a real impact in their lives.”
Growing a business is second nature to Lau, who with co-CEO Rameez Ansari spent four years as the co-CEOs of FieldEdge, a SaaS company that helps contractors run their small businesses. They grew the company to 200 employees in over three years, which allowed them to hit the ground running with AutoLeap, Lau said.
The company’s team is spread out in Canada, the U.S. and Pakistan. Most of its customers are in the U.S. — 85% — with the rest in Canada.
Lau estimates that the automotive aftermarket is a $700 billion industry, with 1 million technicians and 300,000 shops.
“We are only in the second inning of this market transitioning from pen to digital,” he said. “A lot of the new capital will be used to capture that market opportunity and hire a world-class team to help us put out a better product and customer service.”
He expects to triple AutoLeap’s workforce in the next 12 months and will be focusing on creating a diverse employee base.
Ajay Agarwal, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, said via email that “small businesses are the backbone of our economy” and as seen in other sectors, like consumer brands, restaurants and retail, business owners are seeking modern cloud software that enables them to remain competitive and deliver a better experience for customers.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Steve and Rameez as they tackle the enormous opportunity of helping the 300,000 independent auto repair shops move their businesses into the digital age,” Agarwal added. “AutoLeap is bringing a combination of a comprehensive SAAS platform with embedded payments and a marketplace to auto repair shops, one of the last verticals yet to make the leap to the cloud.”