Valet Startup ZIRX Raises $30M Led By Bessemer, Expands To Offer More Value-Added Services

It's been about six months since we last checked in with ZIRX, an on-demand valet startup that launched in San Francisco last year but has been quietly expanding into multiple markets across the U.S. At the same time, it's been testing out add-on services beyond just parking and making them available to customers. ZIRX provides an on-demand mobile app that enables users to request valets to pick up and drop off their cars instead of trying to find parking on their own. Customers either pay a daily fare or a monthly subscription fee to use the service. As the company looks to increase the number of services it offers and cities it serves, ZIRX has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The round includes participation from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures, and Bessemer partner Ethan Kurzweil will join the ZIRX board. The new money follows $6.4 million that ZIRX raised last year, back when the service was only available in San Francisco -- and mostly just SOMA. A lot's happened since then: ZIRX launched in Seattle in October, entered Los Angeles in December, and in February became available in Washington, D.C. In each case, every new city became its fastest-growing new market. On the product side, ZIRX is now available on both iOS and Android, and has gradually added services customers can take advantage of to make their lives a little easier. That includes getting their gas tanks filled up or getting a car wash, as well as more detailed maintenance work that ZIRX has been testing out in San Francisco. According to ZIRX founder and CEO Sean Behr, providing routine servicing like oil changes, tire rotations, and factory maintenance was the #1 request from users. In San Francisco where it tested this offering, called ZIRX Care, the company would work with select partner repair shops or drop customers' cars off at their dealership for repairs. With the funding, ZIRX will look to expand into new cities over the coming months. It will be expanding availability of its ZIRX Care services to all the markets it operates in. For ZIRX, those ad-ons are not just a way to increase margins -- after all, it takes a small fee for each additional service booked on its platform -- but also a way to provide more value to users. According to Behr, it's seeing services like gas and car washes become a retention tool. That is, the more customers use those services, the more likely they are to continue using ZIRX. "If you make a customer's life a little more convenient, it's another reason for them to come back," Behr said. With funding under its belt, it's hoping to make a lot more customers' lives a lot more convenient.
Ryan Lawler

Ryan Lawler is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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