Openbay has launched what it calls a first-of-its-kind online service and mobile app that helps consumers find, book and pay for local auto repair and maintenance services. The national launch follows a pilot program conducted in the greater Boston metropolitan area, where in just a few months it is already used by more than 600 vehicle owners and now has nearly 400 vehicle service professionals actively participating in its member network. Openbay is funded by Google Ventures, a16z seed, Boston Seed Capital, Stage 1 Ventures and several individual investors.
“With the launch of Openbay, we have a unique opportunity to significantly impact the way people and businesses get their vehicles serviced. Openbay reduces costs and makes finding skilled and trustworthy professionals easy,” said Rob Infantino, CEO and founder. “We’ve taken an uncertain and risky process for consumers and businesses with fleets and reengineered it. In a few easy steps, our customers get peace of mind and unprecedented value while the best local service professionals have a new channel through which they can stand out and grow.”
Users of Openbay submit their automotive service request or problem directly to Openbay’s website or mobile app, listing any special requests such as early drop off, loaner car and more. Openbay reaches out to its network of local service professionals to request service offers on a consumer’s behalf. Within minutes, through the Openbay app, consumers receive multiple competitive service offers that they can compare based on price, distance, customer ratings and reviews and amenities. After receiving offers, which can even include the option to service the vehicle in their driveway or office, users book their appointment with the service provider offering the best value and convenience, paying for everything through Openbay’s secure website or mobile app. There are no charges or fees associated with booking an appointment through Openbay, and membership is free.
“Openbay is turning a notoriously fragmented industry on its ear,” said Barry Steinberg, owner and president of Direct Tire and Auto Service. “Letting customers drive the selection process on their terms is brilliant. It builds consumer confidence in the decision-making process, ultimately bringing in consumers that may have pushed out service or decided against getting their vehicles serviced – a great thing for both consumers and our industry.”
In addition to service providers responding with competitive offers that drive down service costs, users earn Openbay rewards that can be applied to services booked through Openbay. Openbay rewards are earned when a user shares the app with others and complete a service on Openbay.
“Openbay is an all-around amazing service and one that I will absolutely use again,” said John Pagnani, owner of a 2011 Audi S4 who was part of the pilot program in the Boston area. “It completely simplifies what was always a frustrating process for me. It's easy, handy and I saved a ton of money on a mechanic. I was really impressed by the whole process; everything worked out perfectly.”
The Openbay web and mobile apps are available now to the general public. The mobile app supports iOS 6 and iOS 7 and is available on the Apple App Store.