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New tech to unlock growth of car care industry

A new platform for car care professionals – which has achieved 300% revenue growth in the last three months – is now on the hunt for its next phase of funding.

Wash Doctors is the brainchild of London entrepreneur Will Mapstone. Launched this spring, the digital booking app has already been taken up by 65 valeting, detailing and smart repair companies from Brighton to Manchester, and there are bold plans to expand throughout the UK and America by the end of 2022.

The concept behind the system is to better connect car care professionals with their customers, in an industry that would typically make such tech inaccessible for smaller organisations and sole traders.

Having tested market demand, Wash Doctors secured a place on a tech accelerator programme run by software development and system integration specialist, IDS Group. The team overhauled the back-end of the prototype to build a truly robust and scalable SaaS (Software as a Service) product capable of significant growth – irrespective of the volume of data it contained – with an inclusive interface that is user friendly regardless of people’s digital literacy.

And now the plan is to hit £2.3m turnover in the next 12 months, while unlocking the growth of the car care industry too.

Commenting on the venture, founder Will Mapstone said: “Intuitive booking systems in the automotive sector, simply aren’t fit for purpose for smaller organisations – certainly if they’ve a limited budget for such tech. We therefore sought to develop a subscription-based product that gives businesses – and their customers – access to a professional booking platform, rich in features specific to the work they do, so that they can run busy yet efficient organisations, and grow.

“But while our inaugural market testing proved the demand was there, we needed a technical development partner who could take the business to the next level. As a start-up, one of the first questions you get asked is – how is the technology built? With the backing of IDS we now have the credibility to answer that with confidence, which settles a lot of investors’ nerves.”

Nick Halliday, the entrepreneur behind IDS Group’s tech accelerator programme, added: “There are some extremely exciting things happening in the world of SaaS right now – the tech sector has certainly stepped up to the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

“But we repeatedly find that bootstrapped businesses are prevented from reaching their full potential – or at least slowed down – because entrepreneurs are forced to make short-term decisions that are either at odds with longer-term risk mitigation, or that fail to capitalise on true market potential. By becoming an invested resource in Wash Doctors, we’ve taken on a lot of the risks – alongside Will – while enabling him to take a far more comprehensive, automated product to market, at pace.”

The tech accelerator programme – run by IDS Group – provides organisations with access to business, software, data, system security and user experience expertise, as well as funding. IDS has invested £220k of resource into the platform to date.