Serial entrepreneur Scot Wingo has signed on as CEO of his latest startup, on-demand mobile car wash Spiffy, a move that coincides with the business raising $5 million in outside capital and expanding via an acquisition.
Wingo’s move to a full-time role at Durham-based Spiffy doesn’t mean he is leaving his previous startup, publicly traded ChannelAdvisor. Wingo remains executive chairman at ChannelAdvisor, a Morrisville company that last year generated $113 million in revenue.
Wingo, who was ChannelAdvisor’s first CEO and took the company public, said he was eager to return to “being operationally involved and solving hard problems. Spiffy has no shortage of fun, interesting problems to go solve.”
At the same time, he said, being executive chairman at ChannelAdvisor “really takes only 5 to 10 percent of my time. I’m still a pretty energetic dude so I figure if Elon Musk can be CEO of two companies, I can do executive chairman of one and CEO of another.”
Durham-based Spiffy was co-founded in 2014 by Wingo and Karl Murphy, who previously had launched a mobile car wash and detailing service. Murphy remains at Spiffy as president and chief operating officer.
Spiffy is an app-driven service. Consumers schedule a Spiffy van to come to their home or workplace to wash their vehicle with Spiffy’s smartphone app. Its vans frequent work sites of companies such as Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Netsertive and QuintilesIMS – at the company’s invitation – on a weekly basis.
“What’s nice is it doesn’t cost the company anything,” Wingo said. “We offer discounts because we’re there for a full day and we can do a lot of washes. The employees love it because they get the discount and the convenience.”
Since it was launched in the Triangle in late 2014 Spiffy has expanded to two other cities, Charlotte and Atlanta. Now it’s moving into Los Angeles by acquiring the operations of a similar service called Squeegy for an undisclosed price.
Spiffy is adding a half-dozen employees with the Squeegy acquisition, giving it a total of about 56 full-time employees, as well as about 15 part-timers.
Spiffy also operates 25 vans.
“We’re looking at adding probably another 15,” Wingo said.
Spiffy, which hadn’t previously raised funding from investors, has raised $5 million from a group of investors led by Bull City Venture Partners of Durham. IDEA Fund Partners, also of Durham, also is an investor.
“We’re really excited to back Scot again and look forward to helping Spiffy scale to a very large company,” Jason Caplain general partner at Bull City, said in a prepared statement. Caplain and Bull City co-founder David Jones were early investors in ChannelAdvisor in their roles at a second venture capital firm, Raleigh’s Southern Capitol Ventures.
Wingo said that, in addition to funding the Squeegy acquisition, the funding will be used to expand to other cities, refine the company’s technology and add other car care services.
“We know the first 20 cities we want to be in,” Wingo said. “It’s not a question of if but when. We want to do that in a way that is measured, that is great for customers but doesn’t get too far ahead of our skis.”
Current customers, Wingo said, have been requesting other services – including mobile oil changes and on-demand fueling.
“We’re experimenting with those in Raleigh” right now, Wingo said. “We’re kind of incubating them here in Raleigh to see what that looks like.”