"We merged the trifecta of convenience, value, and time into something that wasn’t available in the car wash industry. Sustainable car washing is incredibly important to our future with the amount of cars on the road, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be done overnight and at a price point people can afford. We partnered with Mindgrub to create an intuitive app that puts the power of scheduling in the hands of our customers for a seamless car cleaning experience.”

~Freddie Ephraim & Mike Laroque, Co-founders, SpotWash


SpotWash partners with apartments, condominiums, offices, and retailers to provide eco-friendly car wash and detailing services for their tenants and guests. Their disruptive business model is based on convenience: customers can now access on-demand, around the clock car cleaning services via their mobile devices.

Mindgrub worked with SpotWash to develop its first mobile app for iOS and Android to help them capture market share from brick and mortar car washes. To be successful, the app needed to achieve the following:

  • Eliminate the inconvenience of driving to (and waiting through) a car wash by partnering with local parking structures
     
  • Transform car detailing into an on-demand service by providing instant access to a self-service scheduling system
     
  • Encourage customer reviews to help communicate the superior quality of SpotWash’s services to new prospects
     
  • Increase customer lifetime value by leveraging a new marketing and communications channel

The startup launched initially with a minimum viable product (MVP) of the mobile app. Using an MVP allowed SpotWash to bring its product to market quickly with enough features to (a) satisfy the earliest adopters and (b) collect feedback to identify and prioritize feature improvements.

We made a number of technical decisions based on the team’s goals for their app:

  • Parse-Server → lowers the barriers to entry to set up an MVP-ready server
     
  • AWS S3 → easy integration with Parse-Server; provides high availability and minimal downtime
     
  • Mailgun → easy integration with Parse-Server; the web user interface and Software Development Kit (SDK) allow for flexibility when needed
     
  • Stripe → one of the top payment processing systems available; the web console provides useful information and features; very high quality SDK integrations

Less than one year after launching their mobile app, SpotWash was accepted into the Emerging Technology Center’s AccelerateBaltimore cohort, which includes $25,000 in seed funding, weekly programming, and investor access. In April 2019, the SpotWash team was also awarded the $100,000 grand prize from AccelerateBaltimore and was honored by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) with a Silver Communicator Award and a Silver W3 Award for mobile user experience. The app has been popular among users, as well, who awarded the app 4.5 / 5 stars in the Apple app store and Google Play store.

Three mobile devices showing different screens of the SpotWash app Computer monitor showing where to download the SpotWash app Hand holding a smartphone with the SpotWash app on display
Three mobile devices showing different screens of the SpotWash app Car icon Computer monitor showing where to download the SpotWash app Hand holding a smartphone with the SpotWash app on display

Features

Wireframes
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Location-based Services