A new mobile app wants to hook you up with valet parking.
It’s called Luxe and it’s currently offered in five cities, including San Francisco, where the venture-backed startup is headquartered. The app plans to launch in Philly sometime in August, according to a spokeswoman.
It works like Uber, except instead of driving around, Luxe valets traverse the city by scooter, skateboard or foot — “jogging,” according to a job posting. When you’re ready to park, a valet comes to meet you and parks your car in a Philly parking garage that Luxe works with.
The hourly price varies by market and is still being worked out in Philly, but in San Francisco, it’s $5/hour up with a price cap at $15. It’s that cheap because Luxe is taking advantage of the fact that parking garages aren’t always full — Luxe pays the parking garage a cheaper price for those spots.
Will the Philadelphia Parking Authority go for it? Does Luxe even care? (We are, of course, referencing Uber and how it is operating uberX without the PPA’s approval.)
It appears that Luxe is trying to work with the city ahead of its launch.
Luxe CEO Curtis Lee (a Wharton alum) told the Philadelphia Business Journal, “You can either go through the front door or the back door. There’s nothing illegal about anything we’re doing but we want to make sure regulators and city officials feel very comfortable with the service we’re providing.”
Luxe has met with the PPA, PPA spokesman Marty O’Rourke confirmed. O’Rourke declined to comment further. A Luxe spokeswoman called the meetings “positive” but also declined to comment further. A source close to the situation said that the PPA is working with the city to develop regulations that would allow Luxe to operate.
Luxe declined to share how many valets they are recruiting for the Philly launch. The company will have operations staffers working out of Center City’s Benjamin’s Desk coworking space.
This is Philly’s first valet parking app, but a few exist elsewhere, like ValetAnywhere and ZIRX. (Student entrepreneur and recent Drexel grad Skyler Logsdon works at San Francisco-based ZIRX, leading growth and partnerships.)
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