July 16, 2018—In June, Openbay plans to use an $8 million investment from oil and gas giant Shell to triple its headcount. In an interview with Ratchet+Wrench, Openbay CEO Rob Infantino said the capital from the investment will be used to help grow Openbay’s development team, marketing team and sales team.
Openbay runs an online marketplace that allows customers to book appointments with repair shops nationwide and compare quotes. Infantino believes this investment will be integral in growing the company, and building its awareness going forward.
“All the infrastructure’s there. Now it’s about adding volume, velocity to our marketplace,” Infantino said. “The benefit will be to consumers and our shop owners.”
Since Shell is the owner of the Jiffy Lube franchises, Infantino believes Openbay can foray into the lubricants arena, eventually partnering with Jiffy Lube franchisees to make their shops a part of Openbay.
“We still believe that the entire aftermarket is lacking in terms of customer engagement, and what we do online,” Infantino says. “We have plans in place to bring new solutions to market that address the challenges shops have.”
To find these new solutions, Infantino says, Openbay will work to develop new, AI-based products and software-as-a-service (SASS) technology for shop owners and their websites.
In December, Openbay joined in the e-commerce parts aftermarket, as it announced a partnership with eBay Motors to provide the availability of millions of searchable online parts and accessories. Through this service, which Openbay CEO Rob Infantino previously discussed with Ratchet+Wrench, businesses can research, source and acquire automotive parts directly through Openbay. The selection includes genuine OEM automotive parts, white label parts, national brand aftermarket parts, remanufactured and used parts, as well as parts that are no longer manufactured.
Eventually, Infantino says, Openbay and Shell plan to take the product global.