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13 April 2012

Internet tyre-fitting business secures £340,000 investment

Press Release 13th April 2012

The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by EV, has invested £340,000 inTyres on the Drive, a new type of tyre-fitting service which allows customers to book online and have their tyres fitted on their own driveway.

Customers enter their car registration number into theTyres on the Drivewebsite and a book a convenient time, before a mechanic comes out to fit the tyres on the driveway. The company, which already trades across Cheshire, Wirral and Greater Manchester, will use the investment to increase the geographic area it covers.

The business, which is based in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, was established in May 2011 by Dominic Clark, a former senior manager with Michelin. During his years in the industry, he spotted an opportunity to develop a different, more cost-effective and customer-friendly business model.

Dominic has devised his own logistics system, which minimises the time and distance between bookings and also designed the interiors of his own fleet of vehicles to allow all the tools and equipment required in a tyre depot to be contained in a compact space.

Tyres on the Drivenow has agreements in place with all the major tyre suppliers.

The investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which is part of the £185m North West Fund financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), will support the company's growth plans.

Dominic said: "After many years in the tyre industry, I realised that we could offer customers an alternative to waiting around in a cold and drafty tyre shop. This new model puts the customer first and, since there is no need for us to have a presence in every town, it allows us to be more efficient as a business. The funding will allow us to get our existing operation firmly established and open one or two new depots."

The proportion of tyres ordered online has doubled in the past two years to 10 per cent of the market, although most purchasers still have their tyres fitted at a depot.

Richard Young, EV fund manager, said: "Dominic has a strong track record in the industry and has developed an innovative business model, giving a great service to the customer, and supported by sophisticated sourcing and efficient logistics.

"Dominic is an excellent example of a 'management break-out' - an entrepreneur who has an in-depth knowledge of their industry and who has held senior management roles but has now seen the opportunity to break out and set up their own venture but with a different approach."

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