RoboTire, a Detroit-based automotive robotics and automation startup that promises to revolutionize the tire industry, announced the closing of its $7.5M Series A investment round, led by The Reinalt-Thomas Corporation, which does business as Discount Tire and America’s Tire and is the world’s largest independent tire retailer. Automotive Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, 640 Oxford Ventures and several angel investors participated in the round. RoboTire CEO and Founder Victor Darolfi made the announcement.
“This is a pivotal moment for RoboTire and sets us on a path to further transform vehicle maintenance,” Darolfi said. “Our focus is to revolutionize the way tires are changed, and collaborating with Discount Tire—an iconic automotive and tire industry leader—will make our innovative technology more widely available to consumers who need both speed and service as part of their daily lives. We are immensely proud to receive this backing from our investors and know this is just the first turn down a long road to success for our company.”
RoboTire’s patented system uses robots to change tires in a fraction of the time human operators can—reducing multiple-hour experiences to under 15 minutes. Introducing this breakthrough manufacturing-level automation to traditional automotive repair shops transforms the traditional financial and operational considerations used by fleet operators and automotive service providers for tire and wheel services.
“Discount Tire is excited to support RoboTire in the development of new and innovative technologies that drive a better customer experience,” said Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire. “As customer expectations around the ‘buy and book online’ experience and our ability to deliver reduced wait times continue to grow, we will continue to pursue automation and enhancements that ensure an inviting, easy and safe experience for all our customers.”
“We see RoboTire as transformative – not only for the tire industry but for the development of smarter automotive technologies and future-proofing the workforce of skilled technicians, which our industry must do a better job recruiting, training and retaining,” said Will Mapes, RoboTire chief operating officer. “We’re excited to build out and scale our operations and team in Detroit and in Michigan, the heart of American automotive engineering, with support of our new partners.”