Getting your car parked by someone else may already seem like a perfect system. But startup CurbStand wants to make valet parking smoother, and today it is announcing $3 million in new funding to further that mission.
Based in Los Angeles — where else? — the company offers an iOS app that allows users to locate and pay a valet service.
After signing up, CEO Serge Gojkovich told us, users can see area valet parking services and their costs. In LA, that’s more than 125 valet stands serving 170 area businesses.
You pay your bill and the tip — plus an added 10 percent fee for CurbStand — through the app via your registered credit card. Because a number of valet services do not take credit cards, CurbStand then immediately transfers the payment to the valet service’s checking or savings account, minus its fee.
A confirmation screen can be used to pick up your keys, so there’s no awkward fumbling to find the receipt.
The main “pain point” that CurbStand seeks to relieve, Gojkovich said, is that “many people don’t have cash in their pocket.”
Because an app can’t wear a suit to show its high-endedness, the company points to its status as “the preferred valet service” for such celebrity events as two of Paris Hilton’s parties and even the wedding of a family member from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The new funding, from an unnamed private investor, will help make “sure we have the right staff and experience we need,” Gojkovich said. It will be used to support the expansion to other U.S. cities, product development and brand marketing, and to hire a CFO and CTO. The company raised an initial $1 million when it first started in October of last year.
As befits a would-be valet parking version of Uber, the company is steadily moving to CurbStand-ize other cities.
“We’re already in the process of expansion in Dallas, Houston, and Austin,” Gojkovich said, “and we’ve just hired staff for a rollout in Miami.” Other cities on the rollout map include San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Las Vegas.
“We were first to market, and are trying to take the brand nation-wide” he told us. He pointed to “a couple of geographic competitors [such as one in Dallas], but they’re very small and launched by valet companies.”