At 3:00 am one morning, veteran Rick Narpaul had an idea that would change his life forever. His business, Mach1 Services, is a roadside assistance phone app that utilizes GPS technology to find the closest provider for any auto service. Customers pay through the app and receive assistance in less than 30 minutes. Narpaul describes it as “Uber technology meets Triple A Service.” Mach1 offers eight services, including the most popular—flat tire and dead battery changes.
Rick connected with Launch SA, a small business hub hosted by LiftFund in partnership with the City of San Antonio, and received funding to help with startup expenses. After a few years of diligent research and unwavering belief in the product, the app was released in January 2020, just a few months before the pandemic hit and took millions of drivers off the road.
As such, Rick and his wife, Laura, had to get creative. Laura used her skills as a marketing professional to boost the app’s social media presence while Rick strengthened relations with investors (many of whom were also veterans) and ensured that the technology for the app continue ran smoothly.
Although the demand for his services declined significantly, Rick revealed the silver lining for his business—it gave him extra time to perfect the app and allowed investors ample time to review it. During the pandemic, Rick turned to LiftFund for financial support to sustain his enterprise. He appreciates that LiftFund “not only provided funds, but strong relationships with staff who guided him through the process.”
As San Antonio continues to grow as a tech hub, Rick thinks it’s imperative that the community comes together to support tech related businesses and startups, an effort he is proud to be part of.