Spiffy-On Demand, a mobile app for the Cary-based, multiple location car wash company, has been selected as the latest addition to the Blackstone Portfolio companies.
Blackstone’s Entrepreneur’s in Residence (EIRs), a team of successful area entrepreneurs, will mentor Spiffy to help it milestones and raise growth capital.
Spiffy has already had some expert advice from ChannelAdvisor founder and former CEO and serial entrepreneur, Scot Wingo, an early investor in the company.
Spiffy founder Karl Murphy, in an interview I did for another publication, the Raleigh Downtowner, said he spent a decade trying to improve the car wash experience at his Carolina Auto Spa locations in Cary and Apex. “We spent thousands of dollars in improvements to make the car wash experience better,” he said.
Then, a friend told him why none of that made much difference. “I told him about the Wifi, and leather chairs and the friendly people we hired.” He replied, “I don’t want a better car wash experience, I want a better car wash. I’d give you more money even if I didn’t have to talk to your people even if they do have nice breath.”
Eventually, Murphy, with good advice from Wingo and others, who told him “It’s a consumer business, focus 90 percent on the consumer. If that doesn’t work, it won’t matter what you do.”
Murphy, who worked in sales and technology at Geromagic, and other tech firms in and out of the Triangle area, found a way to do that – and in the process, found a way to actually improve the car wash experience, and charge a premium for it at that.
He proceeded to design a separate mobile business that sends the car wash team to your selected location. Spiffy sends the car wash personnel, who dress well in clean uniforms, are vetted, and insured
Spiffy’s offerings are in plain English. Deep-cleaning. Reconditioning, shampoo the carpet, clean the headlights, and engine cleaning. Depending on the options chosen, the services cost from $19.99 to $299.00.
The company also uses data analytics and plans to grow in three areas, geographic expansion, business development, and technology implementation.’
Spiffy’s service is available in the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas now.
Blackstone portfolio companies receive introductions to the EIR’s network of industry experts, investors, and access to the broader Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. BEN portfolio companies also enjoy access to venture coaches, angel investors, and administrative and marketing support provided by Network Fellows. All of this is done in partnership with the four area universities who created the program as well as with area entrepreneurial support groups. The ultimate goal is to drive the North Carolina economy.