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Brakes To Go

Mobile on-demand brake service and repair

$319,497

Raised from 1213 investors

Min: $50,000

Max: $1,070,000

Security Offered

Convertible Note

Minimum Investment: $100

  • Total gross revenues of $5.6M since commencing operations in May 2015

  • Reached profitability in fiscal-year-end (FYE) 2019

  • 24% year-over-year increase in sales from FYE 2018 to FYE 2019

  • Amassed a Five-Star Yelp rating (based on 450 reviews),i a 4.8-Star Google rating (based on 212 reviews),ii and 4.9-Star Facebook rating (based on 118 customer reviews) as of July 2019iii

Executive Snapshot

Brakes To Go is a mobile brake repair company based in Austin, Texas. The company specializes in automotive brake service, and aims to make the task of brake repair a convenient and value-oriented experience for customers. The company has gained significant traction since starting operations in 2015, increasing total sales 106% in their second fiscal year to $1.38M, 14% in their third to $1.56M, and 24% in their fourth to $1.95M. Brakes To Go has recently reached profitablity and now seeks to expand to larger metropolitan areas such as Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. The company has raised $688,750 from friends and family over the last four years.

Perks

Perks

Investors that purchase the first 50,000 Crowd Notes, and thereby fund the first $50,000, will receive Crowd Notes with a conversion provision based on a $9 million valuation cap instead of a $10 million valuation cap. That means, in connection with equity financing of at least $1,000,000, the company has the option to convert the Crowd Note into non-voting preferred shares (Conversion Shares) at a price based on the lower of (A) a 30% discount to the price per share paid for Preferred Shares by investors in the Qualified Equity Financing or (B) the price per share based on a $9 million valuation cap (instead of $10 million).

Terms

Investment Terms*

Security Type: Crowd Note

Round Size: Min: $50,000 Max: $1,070,000

Discount Rate: 30%

Valuation Cap: $9 million or $10 million

Conversion Provisions: In connection with equity financing of at least $1,000,000, the Company has the option to convert the Crowd Note into Class A Membership Interests (Conversion Shares) at a price based on the lower of (A) a 30% discount to the price per share for Preferred Stock by investors in the Qualified Equity Financing or (B) the price per share paid on a $10,000,000 valuation cap. Please refer to the Crowd Note for a complete description of the terms of the Crowd Note, including the conversion provisions.

Overview

Opportunity

While there are certainly many advantages to owning a car, one drawback is vehicle maintenance. Many owners don’t have the time or know-how to perform basic upkeep or repairs themselves, and taking a vehicle to a repair shop can be expensive and inconvenient.iv

It’s arguable that vehicle maintenance is one of the main drivers of negative emotions related to owning a car.v In December 2016, a national AAA survey revealed that two of three Americans don’t trust repair shops in general—citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary repairs, and poor past experiences as the reasons for their lack of confidence.vi

Brakes To Go provides car owners an alternative service option for resolving automotive brake issues. Instead of driving or being towed to an automotive service center, Brakes To Go provides customers mobile brake service, on-demand, wherever their vehicle is located. By using a mobile service model, Brakes To Go aims to provide a more convenient customer service experience while simultaneously reducing overhead expenses which can result in savings that the company can pass on to the customer.  This mobile option is largely possible because modern brake repair doesn’t require the use of fixed assets and heavy equipment that require a physical shop presence. Instead, the vast majority of brake system repairs currently involve the replacement of wearable components designed for simple installation with a limited set of portable hand tools. For the customer, the Brakes To Go experience means convenient brake repair during the normal course of their day at a competitive price that is typically lower than traditional brick & mortar service centers.

Brakes To Go provides mobile brake service with the goal of resolving the vast majority of brake maintenance issues while facilitating a convenient and value-oriented customer service experience. The company is located in Austin, Texas, and services the city and other outlying areas.

How does Brakes To Go work?

Just answer a few simple questions about your car and brake situation—then BTG will quickly have a repair estimate for you.

After reviewing your quote, BTG will go over any questions you might have and then arrange a time and place for a technician to repair your brakes.

When your brake specialist meets you, they’ll first assess the vehicle—then, with your approval, they’ll get the job done and be on their way.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

Brakes To Go employs only certified National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians. Since 1972, this independent non-profit organization has worked to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals.vii It exists to protect the automotive service consumer, business owner, and the automotive technician. The institute tests and certifies automotive professionals so employers and service customers can better gauge a technician’s level of expertise before contracting the technician’s services. In addition to passing an ASE Certification test—of which only two out of every three test-takers pass on their first attemptviii—automotive technicians must have two years of on the job training or one year of on the job training and a two-year degree in automotive repair to qualify for certification.ix  

Advance Auto Parts

Brakes To Go only uses the highest quality automotive brake system replacement components available. For the customer, this means high performance, less brake dust, mitigation of premature wear, and no squealing. For Brakes To Go, using Advance Auto Parts components means fewer come-back warranty appointments. Brakes to Go buys almost all its brake component parts from CARQUEST Commercial, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advance Auto Parts. CARQUEST’s Wearever Platinum Premium line of products are considered by some to be the highest quality replacement auto parts available and are the primary brake parts used at Brakes To Go.

Technet Professional Service Center

Brakes To Go provides a 24-month and 24,000-mile nationwide warranty, which features a zero-cost, total replacement guarantee for the duration of coverage. This country-wide guarantee is available due to the company’s inclusion in the TechNet Professional nationwide service center network.

Founded in 1997, the TECHNET Professional Automotive Service is a network of repair professionals. The TECHNET network currently includes more than 9,600 automotive service and repair centers across North America.x To become a TECHNET Professional center service providers must employ only ASE certified technicians, use the highest quality parts, and deploy state-of-the-art equipment and the newest technology to diagnose and repair customer vehicles.

Community Outreach—Meals on Wheels

Brakes To Go aims to better the communities in which it operates and is proud of its continuing effort to give back. Brakes To Go and Meals-On-Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) recently completed a two-year partnership to help nourish and enrich the lives of older homebound adults. Brakes To Go continues to provide a 10% discount on repairs for MOWCTX’s fleet vehicles and for MOWCTX volunteer driver vehicles as well. Finally, under this partnership, Brakes To Go committed to donate approximately $5,000 a year, which translates into the purchase, preparation, and distribution of about 2,000 nutritious meals. The company intends to expand its relationship with Meals-On-Wheels providers in both Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston as it expands in those regions.

Use of Proceeds

Brakes To Go intends to use proceeds from this raise to pay for operational startup costs associated with the company’s expansion to new service regions in larger metropolitan cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth, and/or Houston.  Aside from these upfront costs, the largest portion of raise proceeds will be used for extensive brand awareness marketing and advertising campaigns in the new service regions, as well as limited additional marketing in Austin.

If Brakes To Go raises the minimum amount of $50,000 it plans to use the proceeds primarily for the following:

  • General marketing (15%)
  • Manufacturing (26%)
  • Equipment purchases (5%)
  • Repayment of debt (12%)
  • Administrative overhead (16%)
  • Cash reserves (26%)

If Brakes To Go raises the maximum amount of $1,070,000 it plans to use the proceeds primarily for the following:

  • General marketing (15%)
  • Manufacturing (26%)
  • Equipment purchases (5%)
  • Repayment of debt (12%)
  • Administrative overhead (15%)
  • Cash reserves (27%)

Product Roadmap

As Brakes To Go expands to new service regions, the company intends to purchase additional service vans and certain specialty equipment necessary to deploy technicians on customer service appointments. Operational goals during the first year of the company’s expansion plan include raising customer transaction count high enough to require the staffing of four technicians and reaching targeted gross sales in excess of $1 million.

A significant portion of the proceeds used during the company’s expansion period are intended to cover the cost of brand awareness marketing to introduce the company’s alternative automotive service method. While expanded brand awareness marketing could benefit the existing Austin service region, the company’s primary targets are new customers in the Houston and/or Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

Business Model

Brakes To Go services customer vehicles at the time and location of their choice. Brake pad replacement averages $149 per axle, which includes both parts and labor. For all other brake repairs customers pay a fixed labor fee depending on the particular service purchased (i.e., front brake pad and rotor replacement, front and rear brake pad replacement and front rotor replacement, etc.) plus a 15% markup on MSRP for parts. The company’s labor charges are based on the repair performed, not on the make and model of the vehicle, or on the amount of time required to conduct a repair. With the exception of luxury and over-sized vehicles for which market factors and repair complexity dictate a slightly higher labor fee, most customers pay the same labor charges.

Brakes To Go aims to consistently offer brake services at or just below the average market price. This is made possible due to the low overhead cost achieved with the mobile business model and Brakes To Go’s use of a single parts supplier—Advance Auto Parts—for the vast majority of all sales transactions. The use of a single parts supplier allows the company to achieve discounted bulk purchase rates.

Traction

Over the past four years in Austin, Brakes To Go has amassed a Five-Star Yelp rating (based on 450 reviews),xi and received Five Star Google ratings from on 212 reviews,xii and a 4.9 Star Facebook rating (based on 118 customer reviews) as of July 2019.xiii Year over year revenue growth on a monthly basis over the last six months of FYE 2019 (November 2018 thru April 2019) demonstrates an average monthly increase in total sales of 36.5%.

Historical Financials

Brakes To Go began operations in earnest in May 2015 and its fiscal year runs from May to April. In the company’s fiscal year ending in 2019 (April 30, 2019) brake service revenue totaled $1,945,807, increasing 24% year-over-year. Revenue for fiscal year ending 2018 totaled $1,563,037, increasing 14% year-over-year. In fiscal year ending 2017, revenue totaled $1,375,562, increasing 106% year-over-year. In fiscal year ending 2016, the company generated $666,610. In total, the company has generated $5,551,015 in brake service revenue since its inception, and in March 2019 the company reached its highest recorded monthly revenue of $196,232.

For the company’s fiscal year ending in 2019, company expenses totaled $1,886,339, with cost of goods sold (COGS) at $1,019,254 accounting for 54% of total expenses. Operating expenses (OpEx) totaled $867,085 and accounted for the remaining 46%. The largest COGS expense, and the biggest overall expense for the company, is automotive parts at $588,294. The next largest company expense is technician wages of $365,755, also in the COGS category. Marketing was the largest non-COGS operating expense for the year, with total advertising expenditures of $260,745. Of those marketing expenses, $241,507 was spent on digital advertising including but not limited to Google Adwords, Yelp, and Facebook. Management fees were the next largest operating expense at $252,344, followed by non-production wages of $101,129. In fiscal year ending 2018, expenses totaled $1,592,240, with COGS of $824,027 accounting for 51.8% of total expenses. Operating expenses totaled $768,213 and accounted for the remaining 48.2%.

For the fiscal year ending April 30, 2019, Brakes To Go generated net income of $3,797, and had an average monthly burn-rate of $1,234. In fiscal year ending April 30, 2018, the company reported a net loss of $81,422, and had an average monthly burn-rate of $310 per month. As of April 31, 2019, the company had $88,072 in cash and foresees operation to be self-sustaining going forward.

Industry

In 2017, the Automotive Repair and Services Market was valued at an estimated $479.4 trillion, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2017 to 2027. The North American market was estimated to account for 27.2% of the overall market share in 2017 and is anticipated to maintain this position through 2027. Increases in the average age of on the road vehicles and increases in the sale of used cars are anticipated to be major market drivers over the forecast period.xiv

According to Grandview Research, the global automotive braking systems market, a subset of the Automotive Repair and Services Market, was valued at nearly $19.5 billion in 2016.xv Fast forward two years, and the market is now forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 3.61% from 2019 to 2024. According to Mordor Intelligence, the automotive braking system market has gained traction over recent years in response to pressure from government mandates and various enactments of stringent safety requirements to reduce the increasing number of road accidents worldwide. This increased emphasis on safety and the growing sales of commercial vehicles are anticipated to be influential drivers of growth in the market for the coming years.xvi

In 2018, venture capital investments in the transportation and automotive services industry totaled $244.6 billion across 1,418 deals. The industry experienced a record year in 2018, as capital invested climbed over 88.9% from $129.5 billion the previous year.xvii Over the past 11 years, $1 trillion has been invested across 11,799 venture capital deals in the transportation and automotive services space.xviii

Competitors

YourMechanic

Founded in 2012, YourMechanic provides mobile mechanic services to customers in several cities across the nation. Services can be booked online through the company’s website or mobile application. Payments, pricing, service history, and maintenance are also handled through the website or the mobile app. Mechanics working with the company undergo an extensive screening process and carry liability insurance. YourMechanic also warranties its repairs and parts with a 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee.xix In 2012, the company won the TechCrunch Disrupt pitch competition and was awarded $50,000.xx In October 2018, YourMechanic secured $10.1 million in Series B funding.xxi Investors in the round included the Royal Bank of Canada, SoftBank Capital, Verizon Ventures, American Family Ventures, Data Point Capital, and former General Motors Co. chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.xxii

Wrench, Inc.

Founded in 2015, Wrench, Inc. provides mobile on-demand full-service auto repair ranging from oil changes and tune ups to brake jobs and no-starts. Its service mechanics are ASE certified, and can perform most repair jobs right in a customer’s driveway or parking spot. The company also provides a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on any repairs it performs. Wrench, Inc. services fleet vehicles and can replace, install, and balance tires at a customer’s home or office.xxiii In October 2018, Wrench, Inc. raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Tenaya Capital, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $17 million.xxiv

ClickMechanic

Founded in 2012, ClickMechanic provides a platform where car owners in need of repairs can connect with trusted professional mechanics in their area. The company is based in the UK and services London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, and Brighton.xxv ClickMechanic charges a 20% commission for any job booked through its platform.xxvi In 2015, the company raised £320,000 (~$408,000) from angel investors such as Just Eat CEO Klaus Nyengaard, adding to the $100,000 the company received from the pre-accelerator program Entrepreneur first.xxvii ClickMechanic is backed by other investors such as Entrepreneur First (EF), Forward Partners, 500 Startups, and Imperial Innovations.xxviii

Just Brakes

Founded in 1980, Just Brakes began as a one-stop shop for all brake care needs. Today, Just Brakes provides complete automotive care at 134 stores across eight states and 14 metropolitan areas.xxix Just Brakes currently operates in Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Georgia, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. In January 2017, Just Brakes was purchased by the automotive repair company and tire center Pep Boys.xxx

Team

Randall C. Huntsinger

Co-Founder and CEO

Randall is responsible for Brakes To Go’s administrative affairs, which include being the company’s financial officer and corporate general counsel. Randall is a twenty-year attorney with a broad range of corporate operational and litigation experience.  Prior to founding Brakes To Go, Randall was general counsel for a private energy services company, and was also employed as an attorney at Godwin Gruber, P.C., in Dallas, and an Assistant Attorney General in Austin before that. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. He holds a Juris Doctorate law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and a Bachelor of Business Administration undergraduate degree in accounting from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jonathan R. Ganther

Co-Founder and COO

Jonathan directs and manages all service operations for Brakes To Go. He takes a hands-on approach to customer service, personally taking customer calls, scheduling appointments, and even handling service appointments if circumstances require. Jonathan trains and directs all newly hired technicians, each of whom he personally selects. Jonathan graduated from Wyoming Technical Institute (WyoTech) in Laramie, Wyoming in September of 2010. He earned an associate degree in Automotive Technology and graduated in the top 5% of his class. He maintains an A-5 Brakes ASE certification.

Past Financing

Brakes To Go has been a bootstrapped operation since day one of its operations. In its first year, the company raised financing from friends and family totaling a little over $150,000. A majority of the funds were spent on marketing to secure the company’s brand image and to purchase its first round of advertising. In 2016, just over $300,000 was raised and invested in additional advertising avenues and helped supplement the company’s operational cash burn. Brakes To Go continued to supplement its operations in 2017 and 2018 as interested friends and family continued to invest.

Discussion

Risks

Investment Risk

An investment in the company is speculative, and as such is not suitable for anyone without a high tolerance for risk and a low need for liquidity. You should invest only if you are able to bear the risk of losing your entire investment. There can be no assurance that that investors will receive any return of capital or profit. Investors should have the financial ability and willingness to accept the risks (including, among other things, the risk of loss of their entire investment and the risks of lack of liquidity) that are characteristic of private placement investments. There will be no public market for the securities being offered, applicable securities laws will restrict any transfer of the securities, and the securities will not be transferable without the company’s consent.

The information provided herein is not intended to be, nor should it be construed or used as, investment, tax or legal advice, a recommendation to purchase, or an offer to sell securities of the company. You should rely on the offering statement and documents attached as exhibits to the offering statement when making any investment decision. An investment in the company is not suitable for all investors.

Company Risk

The company’s industry is highly competitive, and the company may not be able to compete effectively against the other businesses in its industry. The company is subject to a number of significant risks that could result in a reduction in its value and the value of the company securities, potentially including, but not limited to:

  • Rapidly changing consumer preferences and market trends,
  • Inability to expand and maintain market acceptance for the company’s services and products,
  • Inability to gain access to international markets and comply with all applicable local laws and regulations,
  • Inability to achieve management’s projections for growth, to maintain or increase historical rates of growth, to achieve growth based on past or current trends, or to effectively manage rapid growth,
  • Inability to develop, maintain and expand successful marketing relationships, affiliations, joint ventures and partnerships that may be needed to continue and accelerate the company’s growth and market penetration,
  • Inability to keep pace with rapid industry, technological and market changes that could affect the company’s services, products and business,
  • Technological problems, including potentially widespread outages and disruptions in Internet and mobile commerce,
  • Potential costs and business disruption that may result if the company’s customers complain or assert claims regarding the company’s technology,
  • Failure to adequately address data security and privacy concerns in compliance with U.S. and international laws, rules and policies,
  • Performance issues arising from infrastructure changes, human or software errors, website or third-party hosting disruptions, network disruptions or capacity constraints due to a number of potential causes including technical failures, cyber-attacks, security vulnerabilities, natural disasters or fraud,
  • Inability to adequately secure and protect intellectual property rights,
  • Potential claims and litigation against the company for infringement of intellectual property rights and other alleged violations of law,
  • Difficulties in complying with applicable laws and regulations, and potential costs and business disruption if the company becomes subject to claims and litigation for legal non-compliance,
  • Changes in laws and regulations materially affecting the company’s business,
  • Liability risks and labor costs and requirements that may jeopardize the company’s business,
  • Dependence on and inability to hire or retain key members of management and a qualified workforce,
  • Ongoing need for substantial additional capital to support operations, to finance expansion and/or to maintain competitive position,
  • Issuance of additional company equity securities at prices dilutive to existing equity holders,
  • Potential significant and unexpected declines in the value of company equity securities, including prior to, during, and after an initial public offering, and
  • Inability of the company to complete an initial public offering of its securities, merger, buyout or other liquidity event.


Endnotes