ZIRX shutters consumer parking in favor of enterprise

Ronny Kerr · February 5, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/431f

On-demand valet and car services company doubles down on enterprise business to beat Luxe

ZIRX, an on-demand valet and car services company, announced today that it is shutting down its consumer product so that it can double down on its enterprise model.

Operating in San Francisco and Seattle, ZIRX is recognizable by its agents donning yellow-collared shirts who will meet you wherever you want to drop your car off in the city. Essentially a valet on demand, the agent then parks your car for you. When you’re ready to have your car back, you just tap in the app again, and another valet delivers your car to whatever location you set.

In addition, ZIRX offered other services while it had your car, such as filling up the gas tank, taking it for a wash, or giving it an oil change.

The company has decided, however, to no longer offer the service to individual consumers.

“Consumer on-demand parking, while one of those novel, amazing experiences for customers, is a very difficult business to scale. And, an even harder business to scale to great profitability,” wrote ZIRX founder and CEO Sean Behr in a blog post. “Our enterprise business is growing, successful and requires more and more resources from us.”

The app will still be available to consumer customers until Monday, February 29th.

ZIRX’s enterprise service is identical to its consumer offering, but specifically designed to meet the needs of an entire organization’s employees. A couple of the company’s clients (Juno Therapeutics and Thumbtack) only have an employee base numbering in the hundreds, but another (General Assembly) has a couple thousand.

It’s possible that part of what’s influencing ZIRX’s decision to exit the consumer space is competition from the seemingly identical service offered by Luxe, which has expanded from its San Francisco beginnings to Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, and New York. By the same token, ZIRX may be doubling down on enterprise to try squeezing Luxe’s competition there.

ZIRX has raised over $36 million in VC funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Trinity Ventures, while its chief competitor Luxe has raised $25.5 million from Redpoint Ventures, Venrock, and others.

Overall, today’s news reflects not only renewed focus in the on-demand parking industry, but also consolidation sweeping most of the sharing economy. Last week, on-demand parking service ParkWhiz closed a $24 million Series C round of funding from Baird Capital, Beringea, and Jump Capital in order to acquire a competitor called BestParking.

As for broader indications of sharing economy consolidation, London-based food ordering and delivery service Just Eat today dropped €125 million in cash to acquire several smaller competitors in Spain, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico.

For the rest of the year, we can easily expect more and more sharing economy companies like ZIRX to double down on specific areas of their business, fold into mergers and acquisitions, or just outright go out of business.

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