In most of Latin America, two options exist for auto repair: dealerships which offer satisfactory but overpriced services or informal workshops which, although less expensive, offer poor customer service and zero guarantees of quality.
Autolab provides a new alternative: a chain of trustworthy, multi-brand car service centers at far lower prices than dealerships. Autolab is able to reinvent traditional pricing through lean operations, fair charges on labor and the use of high-quality non-branded parts. The company innovates in a large and growing auto repair market of approximately $2b in Colombia, and $60b in LatAm.
Autolab opened its pilot location in August 2014 in Bogotá. With a 35% monthly growth in revenue, it has served over 1,000 clients and completed over 2,000 repairs.
Autolab announced a nearly $500,000 seed round from Colombian and international angel investors. These funds will be used to expand Autolab’s operations in Bogotá this year. Autolab CEO Nicolás Azcuénaga says: “considering the strength of our operations and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers, we are confident that the model we have developed in Autolab’s pilot location, will be successful throughout Colombia and beyond.”
Autolab was created by Polymath Ventures, which builds companies to serve the emerging middle class to scale massively across Latin America. Azcuénaga adds: “Autolab’s strong success so far, shows how powerful Polymath’s model can be, both in terms of uncovering massive opportunities in Latam as well as how to approach rapid growth in the early stages of a business. We’re excited to have Polymath as a strong ally in operations and as a connector to the investment community in Colombia and internationally. This gives us the ingredients to succeed as a start-up.”
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