Wrench brings mechanics directly to your car, at home or at work.
What: Wrench, on-demand car mechanics for vehicle maintenance
Who: Co-founder and CEO Ed Petersen
All-day activity:Petersen came up with the idea of the company when he took his car in for a 120,000-mile maintenance service. He grew frustrated with the process of dropping off the car, finding a shuttle to work and getting back before the end of the business day. “It started occurring to me — I’m literally planning my entire day around this,” he said.
Taking action: Petersen, previously a senior vice president at Bellevue background-check company Intelius for 12 years, formed Wrench with four other co-founders.
Maintenance management: The Wrench team started researching what services could be done in a driveway or parking spot. It turns out that many preventive services — oil changes, brake checks — can be done without heavy equipment.
How it works: Wrench lets customers enter information about their vehicle online and set up an appointment time. Then a Wrench mechanic comes directly to the car, whether at home or at work, to do the repairs right there. After the job is completed, customers can rate the mechanic.
In-house workers: Wrench employs its own full-time mechanics, all vetted and certified. That sets the company apart from many on-demand services such as Uber or GrubHub, which employ contractors. Eventually, Petersen says, the company may employ some contractors in rural areas, but wants the majority of mechanics to be full-time employees.
No shop: Wrench aims to provide lower costs for customers and higher salaries for mechanics by cutting out the expense of owning an auto shop. “The cost of shops is going through the roof,” Petersen said.
Working out the kinks: Launched early this year, Wrench is working on expanding and hiring mechanics as fast as it can. The company is still working on some specifics — what’s the best way to hand off the car key? — and plans to keep building its logistics software. “Our software is in beta, but our mechanics are not,” Petersen said.
Belltown bound: The startup moved its team of 14 people, including four mechanics, to Belltown in early August after it raised a $1.2 million seed round from local investors, including Madrona Venture Group and angel investor Rudy Gadre. Wrench is live in the Greater Seattle area, from about Edmonds to Renton to Woodinville.
— Rachel Lerman