BMW Invests Millions into a Startup Company That Will Park Your Car for You
To make the competition between Luxe and ZIRX fiercer, BMW invests millions into startup company that will park your car for you.
BMW decided to invest millions to help ZIRX further differentiate itself from Luxe. The worst thing about driving in a busy city is not the traffic, but finding a place to park your car that’s safe and doesn’t cost much.
Owning a car can be a challenging task, and the luxury car manufacturer BMW has noticed that.
Its venture arm, BMW i Ventures, has announced an investment in Zirx, a San Francisco-based on-demand parking startup that wants to change the worst thing about city driving.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but at least for now, there’s nothing concrete in place in terms of further partnership.
The CEO and founder of ZIRX characterized BMW’s strategic investment as “multiple millions”.
BMW’s money influx adds to the $36.4 million Zirx had previously raised. The investment doesn’t necessarily mean that each BMW car will come with a valet service, and there are no concrete plans in the works right now.
In the future, perhaps, the two companies with a mutual interest in making car ownership easy would be working together.
One possibility would be a ZIRX app in a BMW dashboard or a valet service for its Getaround rental car competitor, for example.
“With its combination of service and technology that makes it easier for drivers to park and take care of their cars, Zirx has the potential to be a central component of on-demand services,” Ulrich Quay, managing director of BMW’s venture arm, said in a press release.
Basically, how the 18-month-old startup works is that it rents spaces in numerous strategically located garages. Instead, they will ask the owner to input their destination via an app and then use their GPS location to track the driver’s arrival.
A valet then meets the driver and takes the car to a secure lot leased by the company.
Then, when the owner of the car is ready to leave, a few taps of the app will have the car returned to the owner’s location. The awesome thing is that the car doesn’t have to be returned at the same place where it was dropped off.
To make car owning easier, each company also offers a lots of perks including oil changes, car washes, and gas fill-ups.
The company recently changed its pricing structure from a flat fee to a cost based on zone.
Parking spaces in certain spots of the city naturally cost more, so the prices reflect that, Behr said, though its monthly subscription remains the same.
Have you ever used parking services like this? Would you be using in the future?