On any given day in downtown San Francisco, you’re bound to see people zipping around on push scooters, wearing either blue jackets or yellow shirts. Their jobs are basically the same, which is to provide on-demand parking services, but they work for one of two competitive startups: Luxe or ZIRX.
In a move that should help ZIRX further differentiate itself from Luxe, the 18-month-old startup has announced BMW i Ventures, the venture arm of the car company, as a strategic investor. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and at least for right now, there’s nothing concrete in place in terms of a further partnership, “but you can imagine that beyond money there’s a lot of possibilities,” ZIRX founder and CEO Sean Behr told TechCrunch. “You could imagine a button in a dashboard of your car. They also own a company called DriveNow, that’s kind of like Getaround except that it’s all electrical cars. You could imagine there are lots of possible partnerships with DriveNow.”
ZIRX has also announced an expansion of its enterprise service, which enables companies to offer their employees on-demand parking and other services. Today, ZIRX launched its Enterprise Portal, a dashboard for companies to manage their employee accounts and billing. So far, ZIRX has partnered with Live Nation, Automatic Labs, Insomniac and Juno Therapeutics.
Other than parking, ZIRX customers can also request car washes, oil changes, gas refills and electric charging. Luxe does offer additional services like car washes and gas refills, but ZIRX says that its much more focused on car services as a whole.
“We obviously both park cars, but I would argue that we’re much faster and much more involved in, ‘How do we take care of your oil change’ and those sorts of things,” Behr said. “What you’ll see is the quality of the service is going to determine who’s winning and who’s losing. You’ve got to be able to deliver the product you say you’re going to deliver, and you’ve got to be able to do it at scale, and that’s a difficult challenge for entrepreneurs.”
ZIRX, which has previously raised $36.4 million, is currently operating in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C. and New York. In the near future, ZIRX will continue to invest in operations and technology, and launch new services like smog checks, tire pressure checks and tire changes.