BMW Group has made a strategic investment in on-demand parking and car services company ZIRX through BMW’s venture capital entity, BMW i Ventures. ZIRX intends to eliminate the frustration that drivers face in parking in major urban markets such as New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.
This latest investment increases the number of mobility services start-ups in BMW i Ventures’ portfolio to 13. The current portfolio includes companies such as Chargepoint, Life360, Moovit, JustPark, Chargemaster and Zendrive.
BMW i Ventures provides equity financing to service providers it identifies as having high potential to make urban mobility smarter, more efficient and more flexible. With its combination of service and technology that makes it easier for drivers to park and take care of their cars, ZIRX has the potential to be a central component of on-demand services.—Ulrich Quay, Managing Director of BMW i Ventures
A driver indicate his or her location through the ZIRX mobile app; within minutes a ZIRX agent arrives and valet parks the car in a secure, enclosed lots under 24/7 surveillance. Lots are fully managed with an on-site lot team.
While parked, consumers can opt for a gas fill-up, a car wash and more via the ZIRX app. When ready to leave, the car can be delivered to a requested location, at the tap of a button.
When requesting a pickup, the ZIRX Agent’s name and photo will appear on the app screen; the agents use a two-way security pin to validate authenticity on both sides of the experience.
ZIRX transactions are covered by a $2-million insurance policy: $1M on the car, and $1M on the agent driving the vehicle. The policy provides full coverage while the car is in transit between the street and the secure lot; while the car is stored the lot; and for every action an agent takes while in the car.
The company has operations in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Headquartered in San Francisco, ZIRX was founded in 2014 by Internet veterans who have built marketplace businesses in e-commerce and advertising. The company is funded by Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures.