Mr. Chen has been involved for the past 20 years with Axis Sport Tuning, supplier of the Axis-brand wheel line. He and Mr. Berengian are co-leaders of the company.
“James is involved in the business day-to-day,” Mr. Berengian said. “My team does the initial lab setup, building all the technical support, running chunks of the operation for ASAP. James has experience in the tire business, and he has nucleus of knowing what folks to hire. And he knows the operational process. We both compliment each other.”
Irvine-based CDL said it raised $1.8 million for the company via venture capitalist firms Wavemaker Partners and RezVen Partners and other industry veterans. The capital was used for, among other costs, adding more vans.
Mr. Berengian said each van costs roughly $45,5000, plus another $20,000 in product to go inside of it, including a generator, compressor and tire-removing equipment.
The company is using full-size Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter panel vans equipped with Hunter Engineering Co. tire changers and balancers. Several vans have paint schemes featuring the company's tire supplier partners, such as Continental, Michelin or Pirelli.
CDL also provides ASAP Tire with shared and dedicated domain experts in Web and mobile development, business development, finance, human resources and IT, with Jim Davis a former eBay and PepsiCo Inc. executive, offering marketing strategy advice.
“We are in the process of launching a bunch of technology for the consumer and driver...that will allow us the foundation to scale the business,” Mr. Berengian said.
Customers have been requesting that ASAP Tire add additional services to its portfolio, such as wheel alignment or flat tire repair.
For now, though, the firm intends to focus on tires.
“We'll add to it when it seems right,” Mr. Berengian said. “We might focus on some basic car repairs, such as wiper blades, batteries, cabin filters...any basic maintenance. We'll try to stay away from changing liquids or any hazardous situations.”
All other possibilities about expanding the business are being considered, he said, including adopting a franchise model. “We'll determine the pros and the cons, and make a decision from there,” Mr. Berengian said.
ASAP Tire uses sophisticated data to determine mathematically not only which cities to expand to, but also which areas within those cities to offer the service and how many vans are needed to cover that specific area.
“In a year, I'd like to have a strong presence in major metropolitan areas of the U.S.,” Mr. Berengian said. “Then in five years, I'd love to have all major metros and second- and third-tier areas with people covered with our service.”