Yoshi Mobility has come a long way since gassing up cars on the side of the road


Yoshi Mobility's EV charging service.
Image Credits: Yoshi Mobility / Yoshi Mobility's EV charging service.

Almost 10 years ago, Bryan Frist, Nick Alexander and Daniel Hunter had an idea to inject some technology into the automotive industry. Using the initial entry point of gas, they started the Yoshi Mobility app to deliver gas to San Francisco–area consumers on their day of choice for $20 per month.

“The automotive industry was one that was kind of untouched by innovation,” Frist told TechCrunch. “We had this idea, in the age of Amazon where everything was getting delivered, that you would never go to the gas station again.”

The trio took Yoshi through Y Combinator in the summer of 2016 and began to expand, competing at the time with venture-backed companies like Filld, Wrench and Booster. By 2017, the company was also in Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, and offering additional services, including car washes, oil changes and ordered supplies like new windshield wiper blades.

Yoshi also raised $2.1 million from investors, including ZhenFund; Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures; and Ali Rowghani, Twitter’s former CFO and COO and the founding managing director of YC’s Continuity Fund.

Over the years, it went on to raise an additional $36.7 million in Series A and B capital backed by strategic investors, including ExxonMobil and General Motors Ventures, as well as DN Automotive and NBA All-Star Kevin Durant.

Yoshi raises $2.1 million to fill up your car, or wash it, anywhere

Expansion and new business

Today, Nashville-based Yoshi Mobility is settled into three business lines: preventative maintenance, virtual vehicle inspections and electric vehicle charging. It has boots on the ground in 15 states but can offer vehicle services to customers in all 50 states. It has completed millions of vehicle services to date.

Yoshi Mobility has increased its revenue 10x monthly since its Series B in late 2020, Frist said. The company still provides consumer services, but it has leaned more into the commercial side of its business. It now offers virtual vehicle inspection business for fleets, racking up corporate partnerships with Fortune 100 companies like Uber and Turo.

Its virtual vehicle inspections are also popular in the gig economy, especially in states where drivers and small business owners are required to have an inspection. Yoshi provides an inspection in up to 10 minutes.

Bryan Frist, Yoshi Mobility
Bryan Frist, co-founder and CEO of Yoshi Mobility. Image Credits: Yoshi Mobility

In March, the company completed its first acquisition of Mobile Auto Concepts Inc., a mobile automotive services company offering preventative maintenance, tire care and replacement, multipoint inspections and eco-friendly washes.

“Mobile Auto is similar to many of our competitors that are just doing services,” Frist said. “We think the comprehensive package is what’s valuable. We work a lot with fleets now, and they were always asking us that while we are filling up the car, can we also change the tires or wash the car. Now we can do all of that with a one-stop solution.”

Yoshi Mobility’s third new business line, a mobile electric vehicle charging platform, goes after Tesla in a way. It’s addressing the EV industry’s well-known current challenges, including costly repairs, and future challenges related to charging EV fleets. The platform will offer EV owners and enterprise customers on-the-go charging, maintenance and support.

Frist, a Tesla driver for the past eight years, said the EV market “is just massive,” so there is room for a lot of players. For Yoshi, this means going after partners that don’t want to build out an EV charging station on their properties — or don’t have the available space.

“If the adoption goes the way that we and industry experts think it will, there need to be solutions,” Frist said.

Fueling future growth

The entrance of all those business lines is buoyed by $26 million in new Series C funding, valuing the company at over $200 million, Frist said. General Motors Ventures leads this round joined by new strategic investor and well-known tire brand Bridgestone Americas. International investors include Universal Motors Agencies and Shikra Limited. Yoshi Mobility’s total investment is now over $60 million.

Bridgestone liked the mobility aspect of what Yoshi is doing, Frist said. “They’re investing in mobility companies,” he said. “They launched Firestone Direct, where they have vans that go out and can change tires. We’re doing exactly that now, and that’s how they got involved.”

Armed with the new funds, Yoshi Mobility will scale the preventative maintenance, virtual vehicle inspections and electric vehicle charging business lines. It works with GM’s OnStar, meaning its telematics connect to some 34% of the cars on the road, Frist said.

“There are a million touch points we can have from physically touching the car to the virtual telematics, which is going to propel us into this next stage,” Frist said. “We see ourselves as the ‘Amazon of car care,’ getting into automotive with gas the same way they got into delivery with books. We always saw ourselves doing much more, so in the next five to 10 years, we will look totally different than we look even today.”

Story updated on April 16, 2024, to remove Toyota Connect as the company does not work with Yoshi Mobility.

All the future of transportation tech that stood out at CES 2024

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo