Triangle startup Get Spiffy pivots to stay afloat, unveils ‘decontamination business’
RALEIGH – Before the pandemic hit, Get Spiffy was scaling quickly.
The RTP-based on-demand car care, technology and services company had closed on $10 million in new venture capital, expanded into 20 markets, branched into the tire business, even secured the backing of Royal Dutch Shell.
Then almost overnight, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, its fortunes reversed.
Revenue initially plummeted by 90 percent, its co-founder Scot Wingo says, forcing the company to furlough around 200 employees in April.
“This has been the fastest and deepest kind of thing I’ve had to deal with before, so it’s been pretty scary,” he told WRAL TechWire in a video interview on Sunday. “I would say we’re probably impacted one of the worst of anyone I’ve talked to.”
However, Get Spiffy is expanding to meet this new reality with its latest offering: disinfection services for “virus-free” vehicles and facilities.
Already, the company’s revenue is up, hovering around 60 percent of pre-coronavirus revenue, and has been able to recall 50 furloughed employees.
It got a boost this week after signing a partnership with the San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car-sharing company, Turo.
Turo’s network represents over 14 million people and their 450,000-plus vehicles across the US, Canada, and the UK.
“The best way to recover is innovate and to make new offerings and partnerships like this to replace the revenue that’s been lost,” said Wingo, a four-time founder whose s hunkered down before, living through 9/11, the dot-com bubble burst in 2008, the recession, and now a pandemic.
He’s confident he’ll come out on top again.
“Eventually, rental car companies will come back and people will get back in the office, but we can’t control that. So what we can control is partnerships and working hard to go pitch those guys, get them on board and make their customers happy.”
EPA-APPROVED, 99.999% EFFECTIVE
Get Spiffy is offering hospital-grade disinfectants, which it says is EPA-approved and 99.999 percent effective.
Offerings range from decontamination of known infections to disinfectant treatments of hard surfaces and upholstery, with future protection from seven days up to one year.
As shelter-in-place restrictions ease and people start to travel, Wingo expects people will want peace of mind that their vehicle is “virus-free” and safe for their trip, and he says Spiffy’s disinfection will provide that.
But it’s not limited to only cars. Get Spiffy is now servicing facilities, like corporate offices. Added to its arsenal: a hydro mister that covers large open areas and works through an HVAC system.
“As things are opening up, we’re getting a lot of interesting calls. We had an early set of churches that really wanted to get on a regular treatment schedule. Now we’re starting to see retail folks coming in.”
Founded in 2014 by Wingo and Karl Murphy, Spiffy started out offering a variety of hand car washing, advanced detailing, oil change and maintenance service options. Every service is performed on-site at fleets, office parks, and residences using the Spiffy Green system. Customers can schedule in less than two minutes with the Spiffy app.
Speaking to the potential of this new business, Wingo doesn’t hold back: “I’m kind of a an entrepreneurial optimist. I think it’s really big.”
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire