BMW invests millions in a startup that parks your car

By MoneyTimes

Sep 11, 2015 11:57 PM EDT

BMW, the German automaker is investing millions in a new parking startup based in San Francisco. BMW through its investment unit, BMW i Ventures is investing an undisclosed amount in an on-demand parking company called ZIRX. The news was confirmed by ZIRX CEO and co-founder himself, Sean Behr.

ZIRX is planning to use the money raised to improve on their technology and expand their operation. Currently, the startup is operating in half-dozen cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The investment according to Sean Behr will be used to expand services in Manhattan as reported by Crain's New York Business. Behr also added that there are no promises by ZIRX that was made in accordance with the investment but there are lots of potential that can be tapped from it. One of such possibility is to have ZIRX app available in future BMW cars.

According to Business Insider, latest update by ZIRX in an effort for them to outrun their competitor Luxe is by offering their service to the corporate business. ZIRX launched a portal for their corporate customer who offers valet services for their employee. One of ZIRX corporate customer is Live Nation, an event entertainment company.

ZIRX operates by providing on-demand valet service for their customers. When a customer used their app, a valet will meet the customer at the desired set point where ZIRX's valet will drive to park the car at a garage nearby where they have rented. The price for the service depends on the place where the car will be parked.

Besides ZIRX, BMW had also invested in another U.K based parking startup, JustPark 4 years ago. From that investment, BMW have been integrating JustPark system into its car. Dr. Ulrich Quay, BMW i Ventures told Fortune that there are 13 mobility related start-up has been invested by BMW.

During last car conference in Detroit, BMW showcased their latest technology for parking called iPark that will be available on car dashboards. The system will find available parking at the driver's destination and if there is no street parking available, it will direct the driver to the nearest paid parking.

Besides BMW, other car manufacturer is also offering more services to make driving a better experience. For example, Ford has introduced a parking assistant feature for their car where the car will parallel park on its own. Fortune also reported that Ford is currently testing a system similar like BMW iPark in Atlanta and London.

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics