On-demand valet startup Zirx is getting out of the parking business.
The San Francisco-based company posted a note on its website today saying that it had made the "tough choice to close our consumer valet parking service" at the end of the month.
The shift follows the news that competing valet parking app Vatler shut its doors in September. Meanwhile, competitor Luxe is apparently doing well. It recently struck a deal with Tesla to charge Tesla vehicles as part of its valet services, according to TechCrunch. Rumor has it, Tesla plans to preinstall Luxe into Tesla dashboards.
To be clear, Zirx, itself, is not shutting down, says company spokesman Michael Caliceo. It just plans to retrain its efforts on its enterprise business. Zirx runs a valet service for workplaces.
As it happens, consumer valet parking is difficult to scale. It had also been difficult to balance the consumer side of the business with the enterprise side, according to Zirx's post about the shift. That theme is being played out at other startups across the country. Dropbox for instance, is looking to amp up its footprint in the business world, which is seen as more flush and consistent than regular consumers.
Still, the market for valet parking can only get so big. Parking apps are a relatively small field that would likely end up dominated by one or two companies, CB Insights analyst Matt Wong has told Inc. Zirx has raised $36.4 million, not including an undisclosed amount from BMW. Meanwhile, competitor Luxe has raised $27.1 million.
Zirx offered consumers daily and monthly rates for parking. Daily rates varied in price by location, and cost of drop off and retrieval by an attendant was included in the cost.
The company shrunk the coverage area of its consumer valet services last month in Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Brooklyn and Manhattan, according to Celiceo. Seattle and San Francisco consumer valet services will shut down at the end of February. Enterprise business will continue in all those locations.
"We're excited about our new direction and are entering the next phase of ZIRX with a great team, supportive investors, and a laser focus," notes the post on the startup's website.
This post has been updated to reflect that Zirx shut down consumer valet services in Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Brooklyn and Manhattan last month.