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Pitstop for success

Founded in August 2015, GoBumpr began with three founders with an idea to streamline connecting with car and bike repairs, and now run a service across five cities with a growth rate they claim to be 30 to 40% per month.

“In Chennai, we are the only company doing this. In Bangalore, you might find similar models. It’s like the Silicon valley of India. But we are the biggest right now in India, in number of mechanics and service centers we are partnered with and in terms of the number of customers we have.”

An idea worth pitching

The idea for their startup began with a flat tire and minimal options, requiring Karthik Venkateswaran to walk an hour to find a mechanic. Even though there are many workshops across the major cities, they were never as connected until Karthik partnered with his two friends, Nandha Kumar and Sundar Natesan.

“The automobile market is too huge. It is going to be one of the largest automobile markets by 2020,” he said. “You see the number of cars and bikes on the road.

The manufacturer service centers aren’t strong enough to service all the automobiles on the road.”

Getting the project off the ground took effort and a 20 lakh investment in the beginning. “In the start, it was very difficult to get employees and momentum,” Karthik said. “The first few employees got a three to four hour speech to convince them to join us. We also didn’t have a real office space for the first three months.”

Monsoon towards success

Karthik and the other founders managed to enlist close to a thousand service centers over their first few months, and launched their app in October 2015. And then the monsoon and the floods came to Chennai.

“At that time, most of the vehicles were damaged, and we got very good traction,” he said. “It was a blessing in disguise for us. We started servicing more and more vehicles every month, and bringing more and more vehicles to mechanics.”

As a result, he says they started seeing a growth rate of over 30% per month from then on. What started out with roughly 200 customers a month now brings in 20,000 new customers in the same time frame. “Now we have 1,50,000 customers who have used our services so far.”

Cruising speed

GoBumpr now operates out of five cities - Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy - but they aim to spread out to 10 cities and possibly other countries. As of now, they work with over 2000 mechanics and shop partners, and do services close to three crores worth of services every month.

Earlier this year, GoBumpr received $300,000 that the Chennai Angels raised as part of their investment in the company. “We want to digitize the automobile industry,” Karthik said. “Now it is a very strong play. In the next one to two years, we want to expand throughout the whole of India.”

When asked about their success, Karthik responded, “I don’t like looking at what we’ve done as a success. I always think to myself, compared to yesterday what have you done extra today? You should always keep on going and improving.”


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