By Ashley Reyes
The SEMA Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) named AutoBio Tags as the council’s latest member spotlight company.
In a recent interview with SEMA, company CEO Paul Rooprai and CMO Katie Rooprai, share the company’s history and upcoming projects.
SEMA: Tell us the story of your business. How did you start?
KR: Paul first had the idea for AutoBio back in 2017 when he was traveling for business in Stuttgart, Germany. He had visited the Porsche Museum, but didn’t have enough time to enjoy it all. He took pictures on his phone of his favorite cars and the corresponding placards with the intention of reading about the cars on the plane ride home. It was a colossal mess to piece that together. The proverbial ‘aha’ moment struck and the idea for AutoBio was born.
Our award-winning, new-to-market technology is a 3-in. window cling that when scanned with a smartphone, goes directly to the full online story of your vehicle—as told by you. You can include pictures, tell your story and update it anytime. AutoBio Tags work anywhere in the world.
SEMA: What was your breakthrough moment?
KR: We started talking about developing AutoBio in December 2019. By March 2020 when the pandemic hit, we had the time and space to work on it full-time. We were also able to line up the right team of developers and suppliers to bring our vision to life, and file for our patents.
It took us just over a year to get the platform up and running, and by May 2021, we were debuting at the Amelia Island Concours.
SEMA: Tell us about your business now in 2022 and what projects are you working on?
KR: 2021 was an exciting year for us—it was the year we got to introduce AutoBio to the world! Although we never could have planned this, the timing for our launch worked out perfectly. By the time we were launching in the marketplace, the entire world had been re-introduced to the QR code due to the pandemic. We had one builder at SEMA say, “Oh I get it, using this is like the new Applebee’s menu!”
In 2021, we focused on getting the word out about AutoBio, forming relationships, and attending events such as the Amelia Island Concours, Concours d'Elegance of America, SEMA, and a number of local shows.
In 2022 we're focused on launching new features on the site, connecting with car clubs, making a podcast show and Concours appearances, and taking advantage of a variety of partnership opportunities that resulted from our participation in SEMA's Launch Pad. We’re thrilled to be helping people capture the story of their vehicles and share them with the world.
SEMA: Tell us about a particular project, product or build you are proud of.
KR: We’re really proud to be partnering with the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) to help their members preserve and share the stories of their incredible vehicles. We feel strongly that preserving these stories and all the restoration work that’s gone into them is essential to understanding and celebrating car culture. There are 40,000+ members of the AACA—imagine being able to scroll through all their car stories as told first-hand by the owners!
We were also very proud to have a handful of builders at the 2021 SEMA Show document their builds using the AutoBio platform.
SEMA: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket, particularly in the restoration segment?
KR: Document your work! One—it creates a historical record of your craftsmanship. Two—it provides the owner of the vehicle proof and provenance of the work. Three—documentation makes vehicles more valuable.
Restorers and builders find AutoBio to be a useful tool to easily document their work and keep a digital record they can share with anyone.
Fill out an ARMO-member spotlight form to highlight how your company is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on ARMO’s social media, SEMA News and future ARMO member updates.