Zurich, 17th September 2020. Carhelper announces the successful completion of a financing round led by the Swiss Startup Group as well as the strategic reorientation and rebranding of the company to Stratos.
The successful startup Carhelper founded by Matthias Gerber, Aleksandar Stevanovic and the Swiss Startup Group in 2016 as an online garage platform, has meanwhile become a software company with customers and partners throughout Europe.
The company has now reached an important milestone. It has successfully completed the financing round under the leadership of the Swiss Startup Group and has adopted a new strategic focus. «The financing round is a vote of confidence from our shareholders with regard to our successful strategy and international orientation», says Matthias Gerber, co-founder and CEO of Carhelper. Max Meister, co-founder of the Swiss Startup Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Carhelper, adds: «Orchestrating the capital increase in times of Corona was a challenge and demonstrates the investors’ great farsightedness».
With the new strategic orientation, the company will focus on business customers (B2B) going forward. This step also involves a rebranding: Carhelper is now called Stratos Technologies AG. The name «Carhelper» was strongly associated with the comparison platform which had little to do with the new B2B business. To better reflect its focus on B2B, the company was looking for a new name that is easy to remember and creates a positive association – «Stratos» meets these criteria. «Our business model is relatively simple: our algorithm is used when- and wherever maintenance and repair costs need to be calculated and verified», explains Matthias Gerber. «We were able to successfully transfer this service from the Swiss B2C garage platform to the processes of European insurance companies, full-service leasing providers and international garage chains and thereby substantially expand our area of activity».
The successful B2C garage platform will remain an important part of the company’s business. In the B2B market, the garage tools «Service Calculator» and «Garage Booster» are particularly in demand and are already used by European garage chains to digitalize and automate their garage processes.
In addition, the new company offers leading full-service leasing firms as well as fleet management companies a unique software which allows them to fully automate the verification and authorization of costs for service and maintenance. This solution was developed in partnership with the Starnberg company Business Gateway AG, which has already been active in the international fleet market for 20 years.
The third service offering is designed for insurance companies which generally invest a lot of resources in the manual review of damages and claims. Stratos facilitates this process through the use of its well proven technologies. Thanks to the automated review of cost estimates from repair shops, insurance companies can act quickly and competently and can promptly grant approval. The subsequent invoice can then be automatically verified and authorized for payment.
«The new strategy was developed with the support of our co-founder, the Swiss Startup Group», says Matthias Gerber. «We are proud of our longstanding collaboration and look forward to further developing the company together».
Carhelper was founded as part of the Swiss Startup Factory’s startup accelerator program in January 2016. During this program, Carhelper was developed from an idea to a prototype and its service was greeted with great enthusiasm by customers from the outset. Following the successful completion of the accelerator program, the startup Carhelper AG was founded in June 2016. In 2020, the company was renamed Stratos Technologies AG in order to reinforce the change in strategy. Stratos provides software as a service for the segments Leasing Provider, Insurances and Garage Chains. Its core competence is the automated calculation and authorization of service and maintenance work as well as the digitalization of garage processes.
The SWISS STARTUP GROUP is the largest privately financed venture platform in Switzerland, with locations in Zurich and Lausanne. It scouts, analyzes, evaluates and builds up startups, and advises national and international companies on the topics of innovation and transformation. Together with private and institutional investors the SSUG invests in selected companies in Switzerland, Europe and the USA. www.swissstartupgroup.com/
Chairman of the BoD Carhelper AG / Co-founder Swiss Startup Group
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