ExxonMobil announced last Wednesday it has invested into Palo Alto-based Yoshi Inc., a Silicon Valley startup offering on-demand fuel delivery and vehicle care service. As a leading strategic investor, ExxonMobil gains a voting seat on the board of directors and will now provide Yoshi Inc. with fuels and lubricant products. This investment will allow ExxonMobil to shape a new channel in the market for its products.
Yoshi Inc. provides a mobile one-stop-shop vehicle care service, bringing fuel-ups, oil changes and car washes direct to the consumer. Customers can schedule gas deliveries and other services directly from their smartphones or computers. The subscription-based service is currently available to customers in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But the company has also announced a fresh $13.7 million in funding via a series A round led by General Motors Ventures and ExxonMobil, with contributions from Y Combinator, the Durant Company, and Arab Angel, among others. With this cash injection, Yoshi said it plans to expand to a further 25 metropolitan areas this year.
“The on-demand economy is changing nearly every aspect of our everyday lives, including consumer expectations about the way fuels and lubricants are purchased, delivered and used,” said Adam Wariner, Fuels and Lubricants Innovation Manager. “We believe the simplicity and convenience of this direct-to-vehicle care service will attract new customers to Exxon and Mobil branded products.”
ExxonMobil will provide Yoshi Inc. with fuels and lubricant products where available, and Yoshi Inc. will continue to manage the delivery service. Customers will receive Exxon or Mobil Regular or Supreme+ Synergy Fuel and Mobil 1 and Mobil Super lubricants, depending on the vehicle’s specification or driver preference.
“We believe Yoshi has a big opportunity to be part of the transformation underway in the automotive industry relating to how vehicles get fueled and serviced, which can more than double a vehicle’s cost over its lifetime,” said Yoshi CEO Nick Alexander. “We could not have a better syndicate of investors supporting us, including the leading US automaker and oil and gas company.”
Fuel delivery varies by region, but the company stated it should be around $7 for the service, plus the price of the gas. Drivers can also elect to pay a $20 monthly membership, which includes free weekly deliveries. Elsewhere, a basic wash can cost around $45, with a full “detail” clean costing $175, though prices may be higher in areas such as San Francisco.
Yoshi is one of a number of startups operating in the on-demand car maintenance realm. Back in August, California-based Booster raised $20 million, taking total funding for its refuel and basic car-care service to $33 million, while earlier this week London-based Zebra Fuel announced a $2.5 million funding round. Other players include GasNinjas, Filld, and FuelMe.