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Yoshi Mobility has come a long way since filling up your car on the roadside

About 10 years ago, Bryan Frist, Nick Alexander and Daniel Hunter came up with the idea of ​​injecting some technology into the automotive industry. Leveraging the initial entry point for natural gas, they launched the Yoshi Mobility app, which delivers natural gas to consumers in the San Francisco area on dates of their choosing for $20 per month.

“The automotive industry is an industry that has not been affected by innovation,” Frist told TechCrunch. “We have this idea that in the age of Amazon, everything is delivered to your door and you’ll never go to a gas station again.”

The trio took Yoshi through Y Combinator and began scaling in the summer of 2016, competing against venture-backed companies like Filld, Wrench and Booster. By 2017, the company was also offering additional services in Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, including car washes, oil changes and ordering supplies like new windshield wiper blades.

Yoshi has also raised $2.1 million from investors including ZhenFund, Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures and Ali Rowghani, former CFO and COO of Twitter and founding managing director of YC Continuity Fund.

Over the years, the company has raised an additional $36.7 million in Series A and B funding rounds from strategic investors including ExxonMobil, General Motors Ventures, as well as DN Automotive and NBA All-Star Kevin Durant.

Expansion and new business

Today, Nashville-based Yoshi Mobility is divided into three business lines: preventive maintenance, virtual vehicle inspections and electric vehicle charging. It has offices in 15 states but can provide vehicle services to customers in all 50 states. To date, it has completed millions of vehicle services.

Frist said that since launching its Series B round of financing at the end of 2020, Yoshi Mobility’s revenue has grown 10 times every month. The company still provides consumer services but is leaning more toward the commercial side of its business. It now offers virtual vehicle inspections to fleets and has enterprise partnerships with Fortune 100 companies like Uber and Turo.

Its virtual vehicle inspections are also popular in the gig economy, especially in states that require drivers and small business owners to perform inspections. Yoshi provides inspections in up to 10 minutes.

Brian Frist, Yoshi Mobile

Bryan Frist, co-founder and CEO of Yoshi Mobility. Image Source: Yoshi Mobile

In March, the company completed its first acquisition of Mobile Auto Concepts Inc., a mobile automotive service company that provides preventive maintenance, tire care and replacement, multi-point inspections and eco-friendly cleaning services.

“Mobile Auto is similar to many of our service-only competitors,” Frist said. “We think a comprehensive package is valuable. We work a lot with fleets now and they always ask us if we can also change tires or wash the car while filling up the car. Now we can do that with a one-stop solution Do all of that.”

Yoshi Mobility’s third new business line is a mobile electric vehicle charging platform, in part a move to catch up with Tesla. It is solving the current well-known challenges in the electric vehicle industry, including costly repairs, as well as future challenges related to electric vehicle charging. The platform will provide mobile charging, maintenance and support to electric vehicle owners and enterprise customers.

Frist, who has been a Tesla driver for the past eight years, said the EV market is “huge” so there’s room for many players. For Yoshi, that means finding partners who don’t want to build EV charging stations on their properties or don’t have the space available.

“If it’s going to work out the way we and industry experts expect, there needs to be solutions,” Frist said.

Drive future growth

Frist said the entry into all of these business lines was fueled by $26 million in new Series C funding, valuing the company at more than $200 million. This round of financing was led by General Motors Ventures, with participation from new strategic investor Bridgestone Americas, a well-known tire brand. International investors include Universal Motors Corporation and Shikra Limited. Total investment in Yoshi Mobility now exceeds $60 million.

Frist said Bridgestone liked Yoshi’s work on mobility. “They are investing in mobile companies,” he said. “They launched Firestone Direct, which has vans that can go out and change tires. That’s exactly what we’re doing now and that’s how they got involved.”

With the new funding, Yoshi Mobility will expand its preventive maintenance, virtual vehicle inspection and electric vehicle charging business lines. Frist said its partnership with General Motors’ OnStar and Toyota Connect means its telematics system can connect to about 34 percent of the cars on the road.

“From physical contact with the car to virtual telematics, we can have a million touch points that will drive us to the next stage,” Frist said. “We see ourselves as the ‘Amazon of car care,’ getting into cars the same way they got into gas as they did book delivery. We always see ourselves doing more, so in the next five to 10 We’re going to look completely different next year than we do today.”

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