ZIRX — an On-Demand Valet Parking Company You’re Going to Love
September 05, 2014

Although an afterthought for most of us, parking is a pervasive part of any driver’s life and has become a huge challenge for many urbanites (like me). Even with “ride command” options and public transportation, there are times that you need to, or simply want to, drive your car somewhere. If so, prepare yourself for a grueling round of extreme urban parking—typically an aggravating and aggressive foray into a world where we leave common sense behind and hope for “good parking luck.” If you are blessed by the parking angels, you better have on your walking shoes because it will most likely be a hike to your destination. At this point—sweaty and late—you’re probably wishing you’d just ditched the car somewhere.

Such is the stress and drama of parking in a crowded city like San Francisco.

Demand for On-Demand is Growing!

In comes ZIRX, a practical, convenient, mobile-first — and most importantly — feasible solution to our parking woes. ZIRX collects, stores, and then safely returns your vehicle. The complete experience costs $15 per use, or $275 for a monthly subscription, and is fully insured for up to $2M. A trained “agent” will meet you at your desired location and take your car to a secure, managed facility where it is stored until you need it. It’s that simple.

Meanwhile, each year San Franciscans continue to spend $700M on the drudgery that is parking.  So, the advent of on-demand parking shouldn’t really be a surprise. Where there’s a need – there’s going to be innovation. We’re seeing improvements made in so many areas of life, so why not parking? Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a service like ZIRX to come along.

A Trusted, Convenient Experience

ZIRX focuses on delivering the best customer experience at every possible touch point. This should lead to a high trust quotient, which will lead to more satisfied customers.

Factors such as insurance and safety are critical components to the company’s success, and they have thought through all of these prescient details.

The convenience, pickup times and focus on customer service, while maintaining the highest level of care and trust is paramount when building customer loyalty.  From an investment perspective, ZIRX has a highly loyal repeat user base (including me).  They also have an amazing opportunity to expand the market for valet parking in many metro areas.

At NVP, we believe that what is truly convenient and ubiquitous will go viral.

The Team

After my initial meetings with ZIRX, it was clear that the company had quickly established an impressively simple service poised to disrupt the parking sector.

But, ultimately, the company’s largest differentiator is its team.

Sean Behr has successfully grown two startups (Adap.tv and Shopping.com) in similar situations and delivered close to $1Bn in exit value to his investors. Sean and his team have worked together before and know what it means to delight customers. I am honored to be working with Sean and his team as well as such esteemed and smart co-investors.

We’re all witness to the proliferation of on-demand business models (some compelling, some not) that cater to the instant-gratification set. But ZIRX is more than that. It’s a much-needed service that can scale one market at a time.

ZIRX is in the enviable position of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right business model and the right team.

I had a chance to read some of the company’s glowing customer reviews and the unanimous feedback was that ZIRX was a no brainer. Here’s a comment that does a good job of capturing the experience:

“There’s no better way to park. I’ve used ZIRX several times already and won’t park any other way in San Francisco. Whether I am coming to San Francisco for a dinner party, a Giants game or to meet prospective clients, ZIRX is always on time and always convenient.”

From my perspective, there is very little reason to ever look for parking again.

Subscribe to blog

Keep up with the latest.

Get the latest updates from Norwest and insights into the venture capital world.