LAS VEGAS — Car maintenance subscription provider Treads App L.L.C. has raised $4.6 million through a seed-funding round, a capital infusion that will allow the company to nearly double its coverage to 34 cities by year-end.
Treads is an artificial-intelligence (AI) driven service that aims to simplify vehicle maintenance through a subscription-based mobile app that offers subscriptions on tire replacement, wheel alignment, oil changes and wiper blades.
Customers can have new tires delivered and installed at their home or work, in addition to brick-and-mortar service centers that are part of the Treads Service Network.
"Maintaining a car these days can be a real inconvenience and drain on your wallet, especially if you neglect regular upkeep, which can lead to bigger issues down the road," Treads founder and CEO Zach Olson said.
"Our goal is to change the way people think about car ownership and maintenance by leveraging advanced AI, introducing emerging auto-tech to consumers and making car maintenance more affordable through an accessible subscription."
Olson prefaced his remarks by noting that vehicle repair prices increased 20% in the past year due to new technology in cars, older vehicles and fewer auto repair technicians, making it more difficult to maintain a car's condition. Routine maintenance is important not only for car owners, Treads said, but also for gig economy workers like Uber or Lyft drivers who rely on their cars as their primary source of income.
Treads said its subscription service helps customers pay for new tires on a monthly basis rather than all at once, making it easier to budget and manage what maintenance is needed from their mobile device. The company claims subscribers can save on average $679 and 16 hours over the lifespan of their tires by using Treads.
The company uses AI to provide predictive maintenance updates and visual machine learning to determine when tires are repairable if damaged or when they need to be replaced. Customers scan their tires using the camera on their smartphone through the Treads app, and they will receive tire information including size, tread depth, condition, etc.
The new round of funding was led by Mucker Capital with participating investors including Kickstart Seed Fund, Peak Ventures, Royal Street Ventures, and Convoi Ventures.
There are four levels of Treads subscriptions available —economy, $30/month; standard, $40/month; premium, $60/month; and performance, $80/month — plus a $99 installation fee.