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Exclusive: Spark Car Wash lands $30M Series B

Nov 13, 2023
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Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Spark Car Wash has raised a $30 million Series B round to expand its high-tech concept, CEO Kyle Van Decker tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Investors are betting on a modern spin to an industry that is often seen as fragmented and antiquated.

Details: The express car wash operator's current investor, GoPoint Ventures, led the funding round.

  • The funds will go toward building its brand, developing its technology and opening up more locations.
  • The round will carry it to 2025, Van Decker says.
  • The company has raised $45 million to date.

What's next: Spark aims to open around seven locations next year.

  • Spark currently has four locations as of this week, with another four under construction. It plans to reach 32 locations over the next two to three years.

What they're saying: The company aims to bring down the cost of washing your car as well as the time it takes.

  • "People really get a lot of value out of the car wash beyond just a clean car," Van Decker says.
  • "It really sets them up to have an excellent day," he says, because they feel they've gotten something done with one of their most expensive assets.

How it works: The Summit, New Jersey company, which has a membership-driven model, uses technology, such as license plate recognition, to extrapolate insights around the customer and build loyalty.

  • "We know when they come, how often they come," he says, adding that if it has been a while since the customer's last visit, Spark is able to tailor its messaging to create "deeper consumer engagement."
  • This also allows it to act "similar to an e-commerce company," he says.

The intrigue: The company also uses a real estate "engine" to help it figure out the best locations to place its next car wash.

  • Spark wants to expand locations in New Jersey, an important corridor between the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
  • The region "is very difficult to source land" because of how densely populated and developed it is.
  • The company has recruited a team of regional experts to examine a number of data points such as traffic flows, population density, cell phone data, and the location's proximity to retailers.
  • "That way we have a market penetration plan that overlays the key trade areas with the sites that we have in our pipeline," Van Decker says.
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