Openbay, an app that lets users get the best deals for auto repairs and pay for the service through the application, is quietly building an industry leading marketplace that could help car owners, repair shops, auto part distributors, and growing industries that rely on working fleets of automobiles.
Last night, the Cambridge company was acknowledged for its auto industry innovation, winning MassTLC’s “App of the Year” award at the organizations annual Leadership Awards event. (For the entire list of winners, check here.)
The company, which raised an undisclosed amount of funding last fall from a group of investors that includes Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as Boston Seed, Stage 1 Ventures, and a group of angel investors, has some pretty highly-regarded advisors, including Google Venture’s Rich Miner and former eBay president and OpenTable chief executive Jeff Jordan from A16Z.
Word is the company is out raising more money and has stealthily partnered with some big national brands and transportation innovators. From what I’ve heard, the partnerships are not only gaining the company more users nationally — Openbay has users in all 50 states —but also transforming Openbay into the ubiquitous resource for enterprises that rely on automobiles.
While building Openbay through strategic partnerships will grow the number of its users, making the company the go-to resource for consumers looking for auto service is the most important step for the company to successfully transition from being a small, early-stage startup to a robust growth-stage national operation.
Openbay is hardly alone in chasing the auto repair market through the web. AutoMd and Repair Jungle, to name a few, have similar approaches, so it will be interesting to see if one or more of them is able to separate from the small pack with a focus on mobile.
I reached out to Openbay founder Rob Infantino, who said he couldn’t talk about some of the rumored partnerships. But he but did say the company is looking to expand its team, which is currently 14 employees, and has plans to grow potential users.