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Trade Me invests in auto start-up

Online marketplace plugs into growing network of businesses offering vehicle repair services.
Posted on 28 July, 2021
Trade Me invests in auto start-up

Trade Me has taken a 15 per cent stake in My Auto Shop, an automotive repair start-up that aims to make car maintenance easier for motorists. 

My Auto Shop was founded in January 2020 by Andy Bowie, who was previously general manager of Uber Eats New Zealand. 

It boasts a network of 250-plus independent mechanics, auto-electricians, tyre, glass and other automotive professionals around the country that can be booked through an online marketplace.

Bowie, pictured left, says the venture is designed to allow consumers to find the right business for whatever repairs are needed and see a price for the work in just a couple of clicks. 

“The new generation of car owners don’t have a decade-long loyalty to their local mechanic, nor do they want to pick up the phone and ring around the neighbourhood,” he explains. 

“We make it easy for them to keep their cars rolling safely, with added price transparency, all from their smartphone. 

“We’ve been able to utilise a huge amount of data from local and international sources over the last year to generate tailored prices on repairs, specific to any type of vehicle. 

“Customers now have certainty that they’re paying the right price for the work they need done on their car.” 

Bowie says he is excited to start working with the team at Trade Me, which is New Zealand’s largest online marketplace and classifieds site, because it is the place most Kiwis look first to buy or sell a vehicle. 

Jeremy Wade, head of Trade Me Motors, says the partnership is a logical plugin for the website. 

“We’re always looking for ways we can make it easier for the 670,000 Kiwis who visit us every day to find the things they want or need,” he adds. 

“We know that vehicle maintenance can be a real pain point for car owners and we reckon the solution that My Auto Shop has come up with is awesome.” 

Wade, pictured right, notes there were a number of reasons the company was attracted to investing in My Auto Shop. 

“Twenty-two years ago Trade Me was also a tech start-up, inspired by a young and ambitious Kiwi so naturally the businesses have a lot in common. 

“Andy and the team put the customer at the heart of what they do. Customer aroha is incredibly important to us at Trade Me too, so it was easy to find alignment in our values.” 

‘Bumpy year’

Bowie says My Auto Shop had a “pretty bumpy year” in 2020 with the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown coming soon after the business started. 

“We were just starting to find our feet, then had to hit the brakes pretty quick,” he notes. 

“Fortunately, being a small, online business we didn’t have huge overheads or staff costs to navigate, so we used the time to focus on what we could improve going forward. 
“The rest of the year was a fun time of trial and error, to see how we could build the best offering for Kiwis. We think we’re getting close to that now.”