Business

After buying a rival, this Durham car-servicing startup will double in size

Scot Wingo of Raleigh is CEO and founder of Get Spiffy, Inc.
Scot Wingo of Raleigh is CEO and founder of Get Spiffy, Inc.

Triangle entrepreneur Scot Wingo’s latest startup, Spiffy, was already growing quickly off the back of the nearly $30 million it’s raised in venture capital.

But the mobile car-servicing startup is set to double in size after it announced Friday that it bought one of its main competitors.

Spiffy, whose customers can order car washes, oil changes and other services via an app, has increasingly found its growth to be in servicing large fleets of cars, like ones owned by rental companies.

Its acquisition of the company Your Location Lubrication (YLL) means it will jump even further into that segment by adding YLL’s high-volume oil change system, team of technicians and fleet of vehicles.

“By raising capital, it put us in a position to grow across several dimensions — new geographies, new services and of course acquisitions,” Wingo, the former CEO of ChannelAdvisor, said in an email. “We looked at this closely and the cost to compete with YLL was greater than the cost to acquire, so [we] chose the buy versus build option here.”

Spiffy did not disclose the terms of the deal. Wingo did say, however, that the deal immediately more than doubles the size of his company and makes it one of the largest players in the market.

Florida-based YLL made Inc. Magazine’s 2019 list of fastest-growing companies, posting 190% growth in revenue over the past three years. YLL told Inc. its revenue last year was $10.1 million. Spiffy declined to say what its revenues were.

“This combination immediately more than doubles the company, so there’s 100% growth,” Wingo said. “The trick when you buy something large like that is to not rest on your laurels from the ‘inorganic’ bump in growth, but to integrate quickly.”

Wingo said the goal is to be growing by 80% to 100% in one year’s time.

With the acquisition, Spiffy will get more of a foothold in Florida, where YLL was dominant.

Originally just focused on the Triangle, Spiffy now has operations in markets like Charlotte, Atlanta and Dallas. It has hired 150 technicians to service cars, and it offers fleet management service in New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

YLL and Spiffy only overlapped in the Atlanta, Los Angeles and Denver markets, Wingo said.

Together, the combined company will be in 20 markets, employ more than 300 workers and have a fleet of 200 vans. That translates into 45,000 car services per month, Spiffy said.

“Spiffy has been successful [operating at] the smaller airports and rental car companies and YLL has been successful with the super high volume,” Wingo said. “So that’s the integration — adding Spiffy services to where YLL is already and the reverse.”

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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