Look at your car’s odometer. Did you forget to change your oil yet again? Cltch is making it easier than ever to lube your engine, as they bring the service to you. No more waiting around at the dealership. Order a technician on your phone and they will come to the location of your choice, all for a flat fee, regardless of your model and make.
Founded in July 2016, Georgia Tech alumni and co-founders, Rajitha Siyasena and Vatsal Patel have been able to launch their app in four short months in thanks to partnerships with residential and commercial buildings around Atlanta. “We decided to target only one automotive service that every vehicle needed: oil changes,” says Siyasena. “It’s a “clean” and simple service.”
Learn more about how Cltch is bringing convenience to Atlanta drivers and why this city is the perfect spot to grow their startup.
Rajitha Siyasena (Co-founder): Rajitha is a Canadian-raised, Atlanta local who received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 2014. Post-graduation he went to work at IBM as a senior consultant for two years in the commercial sector. At IBM, he worked closely with major financial services, aerospace, and supply chain clients in a variety of situations from testing roles to sales deals.
Vatsal Patel (Co-founder): Vatsal is an Atlanta native who got his Computer Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. After college, he worked at IBM as a consultant before leaving to work on Cltch full-time. Vatsal likes to work on the operations, logistics, and strategy side of the business.
What’s your current funding situation?
Completely bootstrapped since launch and are currently in a pilot phase servicing 23 essential Zip-Codes in the Greater Atlanta Area. All the development, operations and marketing are handled by the co-founders. Cltch is open to all conversations with focused investors and strategic partners regarding funding to help scale the operation.
What’s your pitch?
Cltch brings the ease and practicality of an on-demand oil change service to the homes and offices of individuals in the Greater Atlanta Area. Spearheaded by local Georgia Tech alumni, Cltch eliminates the many hours spent at dealerships and service centers for what should take no more than 45 minutes. Users are connected with vetted Cltch professionals who arrive at the designated time and location to conduct the service, all at a flat cost. While our mission is to offer people convenience, transparency and security, the company is also dedicated to growing the local economy by fostering employment opportunities for individuals with auto-mechanic skills.
What problem are you solving?
Currently vehicle owners resort to spending 1-2 hours on average at a dealership or service center for a simple oil change. This is a recurring maintenance need for almost every vehicle that is currently on the road (the exception is fully electric vehicles). Cltch aims to eliminate the inconvenience of waiting for a service by bringing the service directly to the customer in a cost competitive, transparent and efficient manner.
“With on-demand services at the click of a button becoming the norm, Cltch was the next logical step. We found something people were completely annoyed with and created a competitive and clean solution.” – Vatsal Patel, Co-Founder at Cltch
Describe your market impact.
Consumers now have the ability to order weekly recipes with ingredients, hail a cab, and even walk their pets at the tap of a touchscreen. However, the automotive maintenance industry has been lagging in the past with consumers having to physically move their vehicles to a service center and then having to wait. By allowing consumers to utilize Cltch’s on-demand oil change platform we’re bringing yet another service to our modern age standards where convenience is everything. By using Cltch consumers not only save time and money, but are now connected to their vehicles and know exactly what is being put inside its engine.
What’s your revenue model?
Cltch charges customers a flat fee per service regardless of the make and model of their vehicle. Keeping our overhead low by only providing oil change services, we are able to offer competitive prices for a similar if not better service experienced at a dealership. Cltch keeps the remaining profit after the cost of the oil, filter and Cltch Professional payout has been deducted. Our profits vary based on the type of car we service and the experience level of the Cltch professional who services the vehicle.
How’d you get the idea for it?
In May 2015 we started envisioning an idea to utilize the skills of college students to complete basic services to help broke college kids. After conducting market studies, we observed that most individuals valued the convenience of automotive maintenance over other household services. In fact one of our interviewees described it being a huge hassle because her and her husband both worked full-time jobs and had 3 children to take care of. The only free time she had was on weekend mornings which still meant waiting for hours. After further research we realized that there were some startup competitors in the market which had very comprehensive lists of advanced services which just added to the confusion.
This past June, Vatsal and I decided to pursue this full-time and left our technology consulting jobs at IBM. We founded Cltch in July and in just four months we were able to launch our web application, on-board our starting Atlanta Cltch Professionals, and established partnerships with residential and commercial buildings.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
In Atlanta our direct competitors are dealerships, service centers and brick & mortar auto shops sprawled throughout the city. Cltch takes a step forward by bringing an on-demand millennial twist into the equation. We offer the same service at a fixed competitive price which you can request with your smartphone or computer and have the service completed right at the comfort of your home or workplace. Cltch also provides detailed service summaries right in our application where users can see step by step pictures of the completed service and exact specifications of the oil and filter used. In addition all our Cltch Professionals are vetted, and background checked and each service is insured to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.
There are a few startup companies in US that we compete directly with. Your Mechanic being one of the more widely known is a company that focuses on the mobile mechanic model and have larger overheads due to the higher degree of skill needed from their mechanics. Since the services they offer can vary in complexity they usually cannot be completed in less than 1 hour and don’t appear “clean” to customers. Cltch addresses this issue by focusing on the more recurring and simple automotive maintenance service: Oil Changes. We’re able to compete directly with them on convenience while at much lower price point.
How does ATL weave into your story?
Being Atlanta locals and having gone to college right in the city we have always wanted to give something back. Luckily for us Atlanta happened to be the perfect city for an on-demand oil change venture. With over 2 million vehicles in the Metropolitan Area (30 counties) the city provides as the perfect testbed for Cltch before we expand nationally. Cltch is also actively engaged in creating opportunities in the local economy for individuals with auto-mechanic skills. As of today Cltch has received over 200 applications from individuals interested in becoming service professionals and that number keeps growing. We believe Cltch has the potential to be larger than it is today and we’re proud to have its roots deeply entrenched in ATL.