Luxe has become a popular valet parking service in various US cities because it sends valets to park for you, using an Uber-like app. They raised a $20M Series A last February and are now in multiple cities. But valet parking is a totally new concept in the UK, where parking you own car is the norm.
Today that Luxe model comes to the UK in the form of Vallie, but as this is a pilot, it will be limited to the City of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile, for now. Customers can drop off their cars anywhere in this relatively small area, then hand over their keys to a pre-checked Vallie driver.
The Vallie iOS app update them on their car’s location and cars can be returned to any chosen inside the Mile within 20 minutes.
Similar services have been successful in the US and China. US leaders Luxe and Zirx have raised more than $25M each and Zirx has received investment from BMW iVentures, BMW’s venture capital arm. Chinese leader Tingchebao secured a $2.6 million Series A round of funding earlier this year. Vallie costs £8 per hour or £25 per day, which although sounds expensive is 20% cheaper than car parks in that area.
Vallie says its drivers are qualified and insured for up to £100,000 in damage on the car and up to £10 million third-party liability while driving. All cars will be parked in commercial car parks with CCTV and secure barriers.
Co-founders Nash Islam was previously head of mobile operations at Google, together with Oxford graduate Robin Doble, formerly a trader at Barclays and founder of app-based car-washing service GoWashMyCar.