RepairPal, a site for auto repair estimates and advice, has raised $4 million in a first round of funding.
When car owners go to the Emeryville, Calif. startup’s web site, they can enter basic information like the manufacturer, model, and year of their cars, as well as the repairs needed, and the site will give them price ranges for how much they can expect to pay for parts and labor. (The estimate is customized to their locations.) It sounds much easier than calling around to different shops to find out if an estimate is reasonable.
The site includes other resources to help you make the right repair decisions, such as specific recommendations and things to watch out for, as well as links and customer ratings for local mechanics who can perform the repair. (Some of these links are sponsored.) RepairPal also offers an iPhone application.
The funding was led by Tugboat Ventures, with participation from individuals including Rick Keister, former chief executive of Keystone Automotive Industries; David Strohm, partner at Greylock Ventures; Mark Goines, a former Intuit executive; and Michael Torres, chief executive of Adelante Capital Management. RepairPal previously raised more than $3 million from angel investors.
The company’s competitors include DriverSide (although RepairPal has a narrower focus) — in fact, RepairPal and DriverSide launched within a week of each other. RepairPal says it is approaching 1 million monthly visitors between its web site, the mobile application, and partner sites.