Welcome to this episode of The Friday 5 with Steve Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an auto technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies.
The news cycle has been a little quieter this week, so I am going to take the opportunity to provide all of our listeners with a long-overdue update on the progress of the Automotive Ventures DealerFund.
You’ll recall that we’ve launched a new investment fund where we’re raising money from some of the most progressive, forward-thinking dealers in the nation.
We’ve been meeting with our dealer investors to uncover their largest problems, to then identify and test solutions to ensure that they work. The strength of the DealerFund is that paired with an investment, we drive adoption amongst the dealer base to the dealers who had the problem in the first place.
The dealers get a solution to their pressing problem. The startups get a lowered cost of customer acquisition and captive audience.
The fund gets risk-mitigated, outsized returns.
Since we’ve tested solutions to know they work, and we’re driving adoption with our investors, the fund is self-fulfilling its own returns.
What have we learned so far?
The fund is looking to invest across three broad categories: Generating incremental revenue; Reducing Costs; or Achieving Operational Scale.
Let me take a minute and dive into a few examples.
In terms of generating incremental revenue, one of the areas that we’re looking at is how we can help dealers follow up with customers who have turned down service work.
In terms of Reducing Costs, we’re looking for solutions that can help dealers automate repetitive tasks.
And in terms of achieving operations scale, we are currently looking for solutions that help dealers find operating efficiencies in the service drive, specifically focused on technician productivity.
If you’re an auto tech entrepreneur working on a solution that helps car dealerships, we want to hear from you. We are actively investing out of the Automotive Ventures DealerFund.
If you’re a dealer who wants to invest in early-stage AutoTech companies that benefit your business, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are still accepting new investors into the Automotive Ventures DealerFund.
We’ll keep you updated as we make progress with the fund.
Companies to watch
Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my monthly industry Intel Report, I showcase a few companies each month, and we take the opportunity here on the Friday Five to share some of those companies each week with you.
Today, we have two companies to watch: Pencil Wrench and GoEVE.
Pencil Wrench is a point-and-click tool for quickly composing accurate and comprehensive text describing your repairs.
With Pencilwrench on your workbench PC, you’ll immediately compose clear, concise, and compliant event descriptions in seconds.
The reason that I love PencilWrench is that dealers are ten times more likely to get audited by the manufacturer than by the IRS. Experts say the number two reason for warranty debit is improper documentation of the Complaint, Cause, and Correction.
Stop filling your file cabinets with ticking time bombs, worrying if a surprise warranty audit or the next legal battle might take you out of the game.
Take total control of your customer invoicing and warranty claims documentation the easy way with Pencilwrench.
You can check out Pencil Wrench at www.PencilWrench.com.
GoEVE’s DockChain solution makes rapid DC charging possible for all parking spaces at little more than the cost of slow AC charging.
Charge any car or van quickly when you need it. Charge all your cars or vans cheaply. Transform your EV fleet operations or visitor charging experience.
The reason that I love GoEVE is that you can imagine a world where you don’t have to think about which parking space has charging. Because they all do. That’s DockChain.
DockChain is a ‘chargepoint multiplier’. The innovation allows multiple parking spaces to be ‘electrified’ from one base power source with a daisy chain of inexpensive and simple charging points.
Combined with a standard high-power DC Charger, their technology significantly reduces the cost involved with charging large numbers of EVs. Plus you can charge any car at high power in any space without moving vehicles around chargers.
You can check out GoEVE at www.GoEVE.co.uk.
So that’s your weekly Friday 5, a quick wrap-up of the big deals in the automotive technology space over the past week.
If you’re an early-stage automotive technology entrepreneur looking to raise money, or an entrepreneur who is trying to decide whether and when they should raise money or sell their business, I’d love to speak with you.
Thank you for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Friday Five, and we’ll see you next week!
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