Tow Choice, a Honolulu- and Portland-based startup that was a member of the very first Blue Startups cohort, has been keeping a low profile for the past year or so, but after a revamp and some revenue, they’re now looking to energize their growth with a new round of funding.
You may recall that Tow Choice began with an online ad-focused model, where those in need of a tow would search, see a Tow Choice ad, and then (hopefully) click. On the vendor side, it was supposed to ease their marketing efforts and be an affordable way to find new business.
As with most startups, Tow Choice found some flaws in their initial approach. However, they were committed enough and passionate enough to retrench, revise, and re-launch with a new model focused on the channels most in need of frequent towing services: service centers and auto dealers.
In a nutshell, Tow Choice is a real-time bidding platform that lets service centers and dealers (or their customers) quickly throw out a specific towing need (e.g. stranded car at Kalanianaole Highway and Keahole Street) to dozens of tow truck vendors, then allows those vendors to instantly bid on the job. Tow Choice then takes a cut of the transaction.
It’s “the Uber of towing,” kinda.
In a recent conversation, Dave Kozuki, CEO and cofounder of Tow Choice, explained the revised strategy, and also mentioned good traction with “dozens of towing vendors” and signed contracts with several Honolulu-based service centers, both local and national brands. Additionally, Kozuki said that the company has facilitated “hundreds of tows,” leading to revenues last year in the mid-five-figures.
Now, with revenue starting to flow in from both Honolulu and Portland, Tow Choice is looking for funds to support that growth. As of today, Kozuki continued, the company is on their way to raising a $500,000 round of funding and has already received commitments from several Honolulu-based angel investors.
(Header image via Robert Couse-Baker, Flickr CC)