September 24, 2019
My story echoes those of many people who arrived in California as immigrants. My parents made big sacrifices for my sister and I when we all left Armenia in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They began working at ampm gas stations along the California Coast, and I‘d hang around trying to help. It was there, in Monterey during the Concours d’Elegance, that I first saw and fell in love with a Ferrari F40 and became a sports car fanatic, learning as much as I could about cars in my spare time.
A few years later, my family moved to the Bay Area when my parents started work at Apple and Intel, and my passion for software was born. After college, I worked as a product manager at Xactly and Intacct providing better accounting software for SMBs, but my passion for ‘wrenching’ never went away. I worked tirelessly on my own cars, and would spend hours at my local auto shop trading notes. It was there I noticed how shop owners were struggling with bad software, costing them time and money and often frustrating their customers.
I knew the problem could be fixed. I knew that well-designed software could be easier and quicker to use, and combine everything from estimates and payment processing to scheduling and workflow management. And so that’s what we started building with Shopmonkey in 2016.
Two years later, we have customers across the entire US and Canada whose livelihoods depend on Shopmonkey. We’re enabling more and more business owners to help auto shops with quoting, invoicing, scheduling, texting, payments processing and more.
And today, we’re proud to announce a major milestone for Shopmonkey that furthers our commitment to helping auto shops thrive: a $10 million Series A led by Nina Achadjian at Index Ventures, who joins our board, along with investors e.ventures and I2BF.
We are a company with a mission to help people. When we hire, we’re often told that this is a huge draw for people. The businesses we help are family-run businesses, not large corporations, and we understand that the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters we talk to everyday rely on these auto shops for their livelihood. That’s a connection the entire staff has, helping these businesses run more efficiently, making sure they get paid on time, and providing better service to their own customers. We lead with design and the user experience every time; we’re a front-end company obsessively focused on creating a simple and elegant user experience.
I’m so proud of the team we’re building here. Our location in south San Jose means we’re able to help employees find a really healthy work-life balance; most of our team have just a 15-20 minute commute, and we have a hybrid remote setup that gives people a realistic flexibility to their day. Many of us have kids and know what it takes to work hard and fit your own life in, too.
We wanted to find a meaningful way to give back to our local community, so from the very beginning, we set up our non-profit Maintenance for Moms program. We understand that going to an auto-shop can be expensive and intimidating for some, so we work with low-income single moms by subsidizing their vehicle repairs, whether it’s an oil change, new tires or a broken window. We find a shop for them, research the parts and labor, make sure they get a good deal and handle the repair. It’s a simple and powerful way to live our values.
I’m incredibly excited about this next phase for Shopmonkey, and to have an investor of Nina’s tenacity and insight joining our team. We’re continuing to hire talented engineers, designers and salespeople, and investing in our core product. Our most requested feature has been a mobile app, so we’re rolling that out soon, and exploring new verticals including oil change and auto detail. And, of course, our number one priority is to continue to provide outstanding and unparalleled service to our customers, because nobody in the auto software space cares about their customers as much as Shopmonkey.
CEO & Founder