Bridgestone Americas’ tech portfolio has been on a fast-track — and it now includes a Nashville-based startup.
The global tire company has made a minority investment in on-site gas delivery and car-care startup Yoshi Inc., according to a news release.
The exact amount of the deal was not disclosed, however, Yoshi co-founder and CEO Bryan Frist told the Business Journal it was a multimillion dollar investment.
Bridgestone is the latest in a string of big names that have invested in Yoshi — which has raised $46 million to date — including General Motors, ExxonMobil, Y Combinator, NBA star Kevin Durant and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana.
Founded in 2015, Yoshi’s core business works as a car-care subscription service for individuals or companies, which often sign up for the service as a perk for their employees.
Yoshi moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Nashville at the beginning of 2021, and has since launched its at-home, on-demand car maintenance app into three new states and 11 new cities, helping the startup’s revenue quadruple.
Bridgestone’s investment will allow the two companies to partner on new services, according to the release, including pairing Bridgestone’s company-owned retail service network and Firestone Direct mobile tire services with Yoshi’s fleet of service vehicles.
“The economy of on-demand services continues to grow, and vehicle-related solutions are rising rapidly in popularity,” Bridgestone Chief Strategy Officer Craig Schneider said in the release. “Our investment in Yoshi will allow Bridgestone to expand the number of services available to our customers, with the ultimate vision to offer concierge vehicle management for everyone.”
Bridgestone is one of the largest employers in Nashville, according to Nashville Business Journal research, with 4,110 local employees.
The company’s Yoshi investment is the latest in a string of deals Bridgestone has made in order to beef up its technology and sustainability capabilities.
In September, the company made a 10% minority investment in mobile vehicle services tech firm Wrench, which provides on-site auto maintenance, roadside towing, vehicle detailing and used-vehicle inspection. That followed an August purchase of Azuga Holdings Inc. and its trucking fleet management platform for $391 million in a deal aimed at accelerating the company’s development of sustainable transportation products.
Bridgestone and Yoshi will launch their new services later this year, according to the release, which will allow Bridgestone retail stores and Firestone Direct to refer business between the organizations.
“As we continue to expand our service offerings across the country, we couldn’t be more excited to team-up with a world-class partner that shares our vision of making car maintenance and service as frictionless as possible for our customers,” Frist said in the release.
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