Behind the Investment: Shop-Ware – Vertical SaaS for the Automotive Aftermarket
Insight has a long history of investing in category defining vertical software companies. A few examples are nCino in banking, Duck Creek in insurance, Bullhorn in HR and staffing, and TaxJar in SMB tax accounting. We target large markets, ripe for digital disruption with a significant market pull for better, more digital means to do business.
The auto repair industry demonstrates the characteristics presented above. The automotive aftermarket is a multi-hundred-billion-dollar industry, which has shown to be virtually recession proof over the last 40 years. As vehicles become increasingly complex and the average age of cars on the road continues to increase, the need for advanced maintenance and repair has become critical. Large scale parts manufacturers and OEM suppliers like Snap-On (SNA / $9.75B), AutoZone (AZO / $26.8B), and Genuine Parts (GPC / $14.1B) have capitalized on this opportunity. While repair shops sit at the center of this large and growing market, they have failed to innovate and adapt; with most shops today still operating on pen and paper with no digital tissue between them and their customer.
Shop-Ware was born on the back of a shop owner falling short of finding the software she required to efficiently run her business. Founder and CEO Carolyn Coquillette graduated from University of Michigan with a Physics degree, became an automotive technician, and set up her own garage. Shocked to see there was no solution in the market that would streamline the increasingly complex auto repair process and offer customers the transparency they demanded; she built a solution for herself. Unsurprisingly, many shop owners in the industry were facing the same challenges as she was. Just like that, the mission for Shop-Ware was born.
Today, Shop-Ware has grown into an end-to-end cloud based platform to run your auto repair shop on, while also giving owners the ability to communicate with customers digitally (and more relevantly, remotely), collect payments, and manage all aspects of shop operations (i.e. inventory and parts management, digital vehicle inspection, invoicing).
In speaking with shop owners and conducting extensive market diligence, we became even more excited by Shop-Ware’s strong positioning in the market, best in class NPS, and their ability to continue innovating and building new products for their customers. With Shop-Ware, customers experienced substantial efficiency gains, higher gross profit, higher customer satisfaction, and a significant uplift in sales. We are thrilled to partner with the Shop-Ware team as they continue accelerating digital adoption and bring every auto repair shop into the digital age.