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As on-demand startups fizzle, Zirx moves cars for other companies, not individuals

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/04/2016 Lora Kolodny

Zirx was originally created as an app that let individuals order valet parking service, on-demand. But facing crushing costs, the San Francisco startup recently shifted its focus to the “mobility” needs of businesses.

Now, Zirx gives companies free-to-use software, called the Zirx Mobility Services platform, that they can use to have their vehicles moved around in time to get any given job done.

Clients of Zirx include car repair booking site Openbay and BAMA Commercial Leasing.

According to CEO Sean Behr, Zirx is also targeting auto shops, dealerships and auto manufacturers, who would otherwise have to build a workforce and software of their own to deliver “white-glove” services to customers.

“Not many car dealers today in the US can deliver a car to and from a customer, easily. And a lot of repair shops don’t offer pick up and deliver at all,” he said.

Besides moving cars from A to B, Zirx will also take them for an oil change or other maintenance service, gas or charge up the vehicles, and have them washed, depending on what a client has ordered.

Pricing is per mile, minute and service rendered with no surge pricing, Behr said.

Clients can log in to Zirx’s software and specify a job, like moving five cars from an uptown location to a downtown address by a certain time. They get a quote back instantly saying what the job would cost using how many Zirx agents.

The agents, or the workers who do the actual moving of the vehicles are background-checked and certified by Zirx.

The startup runs shuttle buses of agents around to do jobs, and optimizes their schedules so they land someplace close enough to walk or take public transportation to their next job if need be.

Zirx is now operating in eight cities: San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Zirx’s unveiling of its b2b software comes after several on-demand parking concepts failed, including valet services Caarbon and Vatler.

Another formerly on-demand parking startup, Valet Anywhere, is still in business but has shifted its focus to long-term, scheduled parking.

Contrastingly Luxe just raised a $50 million round of venture funding from Hertz for its combination of pre-scheduled and on-demand services.

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