All posts by Curtis Lee

Committed to Delivering The Best Experience

By | Luxe News | No Comments

When we set out to change parking by launching Luxe, we made a commitment to provide the best-in-class service to our customers. Our goal with every interaction is to impress our customers when their car is whisked away and seamlessly returned with the tap of the button. As we grow, we have realized the need to assert more direct control over the customer experience and provide our valets with career development opportunities and benefits – none of which are possible within the boundaries of the 1099 model.

To further deliver a consistently great experience for our customers and to provide more opportunities to our valets, today we are announcing that we will begin transitioning our valet workforce from 1099 contractors to W2 employees immediately.

By making sure that our valets have the opportunity to train on customer service, policy, process and safety – and by offering career development opportunities available only to direct employees – we will be able to own a consistent and seamless end-to-end customer experience.

As part of this change, Luxe valets will continue to have flexibility and be able to choose the number of hours they will work based on availability. Further, we will now pay for work-related expenses such as phone usage, jackets, and other work-related equipment. Employees will also receive benefits such as health (if full-time) and be covered for workers compensation, overtime, unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare taxes. To support this effort, we will be introducing a $1 valet care fee per transaction.

We hope you are as excited as we are for this change and we look forward to sharing more on this journey in the coming months.

Best,
Curtis

Luxe Hours of Operation for July 4th Weekend

By | Luxe News | No Comments

Summer is underway and this weekend is July 4th. Whether you are BBQ’ing, relaxing, or working, if parking is part of your plan please make sure you are aware that our hours of operation will be different this weekend than normal:

Chicago

  • Open Friday 7/3 from 10 am-11 pm
  • Closed Saturday 7/4

Los Angeles

  • Open Friday 7/3 from 10 am – Midnight
  • Downtown Open Saturday 7/4 from 10 am – 1 am
  • Hollywood Open Saturday 7/4 from 10 am – 1 am
  • Santa Monica Open Saturday 7/4 from 10 am – Midnight

San Francisco

  • Open Friday 7/3 from 10 am – Midnight
  • Closed Saturday 7/4
  • Drive Home still available Friday night

Seattle

  • Open Friday 7/3, from 10am – 12am
  • Closed Saturday, 7/4

Boston

  • Open Friday 7/3 from 10am – 11pm
  • Closed Saturday 7/4
  • Starting Monday 7/6, we will be open in Boston to 10pm on weekdays

Enjoy the long weekend. Happy Parking.

Curtis

Transforming Parking One City At A Time

By | Luxe News | No Comments

Since we launched Luxe in San Francisco last year, people all over the country have been  clamoring for us to come to their city. I am thrilled to announce that we are rolling out Luxe in four new cities this summer: New YorkWashington D.C.Austin, and Philadelphia.  We can’t wait to ease the pain of finding parking in these amazing cities. Whether you’re visiting the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, checking out a band on 6th Street, shopping in Rittenhouse Square, or enjoying the day in Manhattan, Luxe will be there to park for you.

If you have friends in these new cities, make sure they are the first ones to try us out when we launch. Make sure they join our waitlists on our website to get free parking credits for signing up. They’ll thank you later for saving them time and money.

If you would like to bring Luxe to your city, let us know. We’d love to solve parking for you too.

Happy Parking,

Curtis

Announcing Drive Home. Getting You and Your Car Home Safely.

By | Luxe News, Luxe Valet | No Comments

A big part of urban living is enjoying the nightlife the city has to offer. Whether that is meeting friends for dinner, going to a show or even grabbing a few drinks at the bar, nobody wants to worry about how to get home or what to do with a car at the end of the night. At Luxe, our mission is to make sure  that our users never feel encumbered by owning a car in the city.

Today, we are proud to announce the launch of Drive Home, a new service that will get our users home with the tap of the phone.  Now, if you want to make sure that you get home safe at the end of the night, you can request a Drive Home and one of our valets will pick you up in your own car and make sure that both you and your car get home safely.

Here is how it will work:

As long as your destination is within 50 miles from your pick-up, simply click on additional services and request a Drive Home. We will coordinate a time and place for our valet to meet you with your car. So get in that back seat and enjoy the ride. And rest easy, we are launching this program the right way. We have spent the past several months making sure that this program is covered under our $5M insurance policy. We are doing this right and making sure that you and your car are properly covered.

And as part of this launch, we are excited to announce a partnership with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. For every ride with Drive Home we will be donating $1 to MADD. Get home safe.

– Curtis

May We Park For You?

By | Luxe News | No Comments

We’re excited to announce our promotional pricing for May for our awesome Luxe users in San Francisco. We’ll only be charging a maximum of $10 on weeknights for cars parked after 7pm and $5 for all-day parking on Sundays. We know that you work hard all week and the last thing you want is more stress in your life. So let us handle the parking for you.

Whether you’re going to a Barry’s Boot Camp in SOMA or SoulCycle in the Marina after work, we can park for you. Whether you’re going to a concert at the Symphony or a performance at the Opera, we can park for you. Whether you’re going to Sunday brunch at Foreign Cinema or a movie at AMC Van Ness, we can park for you.

Our valets have saved the day for many of you, now let them save your nights and weekends too.

Curtis

 

 

Growing Luxe

By | Luxe News | No Comments

When Craig and I started building Luxe in 2013, we began with a very simple premise: fixing a problem we both experienced every single day – parking in San Francisco. As we built the product and business we knew we were onto something, but nothing could have prepared us for the incredible growth, engagement and excitement we’ve seen in the last year and a half.

A few metrics from just the last 180 days spell this out:

  • 90% month over month increase in new customer sign ups
  • 97% month over month increase in parking requests
  • 2x week: average number of parks by our customer base in SF & LA

We’re excited to share several major updates:

  1. Android’s finally here!
    We appreciate the patience from our Android community as our team built you the best app possible – including Google Wallet integration and several new features that make the most of the Android platform. You can download it here.
  2. Boston, Chicago & Seattle: we’re on our way
    Luxe is going national. We’ve heard from many of you in other cities and you’ve made it clear that you want Luxe. Next up will be Chicago, Boston and Seattle, who will all have a new way to park by the end of April. Sign up for the Luxe waitlist in Boston, Chicago or Seattle and we’ll make sure you’re among the first to park.
  3. Funding and growing the Luxe team
    Finally, we’ve raised a $20M Series A from Venrock, Redpoint, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Data Collective and BoxGroup as well as angel investors Dave Morin, Mark & Ali Pincus, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gil Penchina, Rick Marini, Fritz Lanman and Jason Kilar. This funding will help us bring Luxe to even more cities this year, as well as continue to build out our team with great engineers, operators, designers and product leads that are driven to put technology to work in solving real problems. And on that note, we’re thrilled to welcome Ro Choy to Luxe as our Chief Business Officer this month.

Going from an idea, to having a dedicated team of 30+ (currently hiring more!) building a technology platform that solves one of the worst pain points of city living in such a short time has been incredible and humbling. We can’t wait to bring Luxe to more people and we’re thankful to all of our customers.

Happy Parking,
Curtis

P.S. We have an infographic below that shows our progress so far, enjoy!

Luxe-Infographic@640

#MeetLuxe: Partner Ryan Cole of Stones Throw

By | Luxe for Partners | No Comments

One of Luxe’s first local business partners, Stones Throw, is a Russian Hill neighborhood gem drawing diners from not only all over the Bay Area — but all over the country — to enjoy its renowned California/American cuisine and friendly, fun environment. We took a minute to chat with Stones Throw owner Ryan Cole and hear his thoughts after his first month of partnering with Luxe to help his customers get to the good part faster: dining!

 

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Why did Stones Throw decide to be one of Luxe’s first local partners?

Because of my early work to partner with Uber and OpenTable, I’m pitched by tech companies nearly every week on new products relevant to local businesses and restaurants. I always make time to listen to what new companies have to say, because you never know when something great will cross your path. That said, most of the time it’s not a fit, or the solution I’m being pitched would actually create more work for us — but Luxe was different.

What made Luxe different from other tech companies you hear about?

Luxe actually solves a real problem. Here in Russian Hill, parking is as close to impossible as it gets. And as a city restaurant without a white zone in front and no parking garage nearby, we don’t have many options for our guests from the East Bay, South Bay and others who drive in. We suggest they don’t drive or even park in garages a couple miles away and then take an Uber over, but most still drive and go through the ordeal of looking for a parking spot. It can take more than 30 minutes to find a spot, and some never even find one.

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How does Luxe help Stones Throw?

I want people to come into Stones Throw already happy, and I think it’s part of my job to help with that. Uber has been a great partner for people who don’t need to drive, and now we can recommend Luxe for the people who do need to drive in. They can park in seconds — versus circling the block for half an hour — arrive on time and, of course, happy.

What do your customers say about Luxe?

We tell every customer with a reservation to try Luxe if they’re driving in. San Franciscans like to be the first to know about something, so it’s fun to see people get excited to get into Luxe early through bypassing the waitlist with our partnership. I think people are really intrigued by the idea and when they try it, can’t believe it exists!

LA, We’ve Got Your Spot

By | Luxe Los Angeles, Luxe News | No Comments

The best part about what we do here at Luxe is hearing feedback from our community. Every day we hear stories about how Luxe is making life easier — helping people make it to meetings on time, saving money and perhaps best of all, spending more time doing what they love.  Little things like like getting back early to their kids, arriving to their dinner without circling the block or simply having an extra 15 minutes to grab a coffee before the work day begins all add up.

We’re heartened that just three weeks after launching, Luxe is quickly becoming a habit here in San Francisco. In that short time, over two thirds of our first time customers have parked again with Luxe, and over 30 percent of them use our additional services, like filling up the tank and getting a car washed – saving even more of their time.

That’s why we’re excited to bring Luxe to a city that needs a parking solution just as much, if not more, than San Francisco. We’re announcing today that Luxe LA will be available next month.

Why LA next? Known best for its traffic, parking in LA is not for the faint of heart. With a total of four million daily commuters, a whopping three million of them drive – and the amount of parking tickets in 2012 — $153M — gives you a hint of the pain LA residents face when it comes to parking.

Luxe LA will change all that. We’ll begin with two of the city’s toughest areas to park, Venice and Santa Monica. We’ll be rolling service out to LA residents and kicking off partnerships with local businesses and building our on-demand valet fleet over the next several weeks. You can sign up here to be one of the first ones to park Luxe LA – the first in will get a free park.

Happy parking, soon in LA!

A Day in the Life of a Luxe Valet: Meet Josh

By | Luxe Team | No Comments

Asked about the most unique parking experience he’s ever had, Luxe Valet Manager Josh smiles and shares a recent story: “We had a customer request a pick-up via the app and just a few seconds later he called our Customer Service number. He let us know that his car only turns on by lifting the hood, jiggling a wire that’s duct taped to the engine, and only then could you turn the key in the ignition to get it to start. He wanted to know if we could still park his car.” Josh let him know that wouldn’t be a problem and upon meeting the customer at his requested destination, he made sure that he videotaped the process with his phone to ensure he knew exactly how to turn it on and off. He safely parked — and then successfully restarted — the customer’s car.

Josh_Valet

Prior to joining Luxe earlier this year, Josh had worked as a valet for seven years in Nashville, Tennessee. He recently moved to San Francisco to pursue his music career: he’s a saxophonist and has also sang back-up for Taylor Swift. To help support his music passion, he looked to get back into valeting cars. He was connected with Luxe where he was quickly promoted to Shift Captain. In his current role, he does everything from valet cars to manage shift schedules to recruit and train new valets.

Many of Luxe’s customers may have already met Josh, but given his unique role with the company, we thought it would be fun to give a peek into what goes into becoming a Luxe Valet, how these valets get around at lightning speed, as well as Josh’s own tips and tricks for unique ways to use the service.

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Meet Luxe: The new way to park.

By | Luxe News | No Comments

18 months ago, we began working on a problem every major city in the U.S. shares: parking. Here in San Francisco, the numbers illustrate the issue well – last year alone, 70,000 cars were towed; the median price to park in a city lot reached $29 (that’s nearly $400/month), 30 percent of traffic was caused by parking, and perhaps worst of all, the average time it took to park was 27 minutes. But none of us that live or work here in SF need those stats to understand the problem — just try to drive downtown from the peninsula and find parking on a Giants game day, or attempt to find a spot in time for your dinner reservation in the Mission on a Friday night. At best it’s brutal, at worst it’s impossible.

Well, it was impossible, but not anymore! Our team is excited to introduce you to Luxe, a new way to park — quickly, conveniently, and affordably. Luxe changes absolutely everything about parking, beginning with one simple innovation: we do the parking for you.

Simply download our free iPhone app to join our quickly moving waitlist, tell us where you’re headed in San Francisco and one of our pre-screened trained valets will meet you there the moment you arrive, grab the keys, and park your car in one of our secured lots. You head off to work, an appointment, or dinner, on time and relaxed. We’ll even fuel up your tank or get you a car wash while your car is with Luxe. Once you’re ready to go, we’ll bring your car to you, even if you’re in a different neighborhood. All of this for a max of $15 a day and $5/hour.
We’re also excited to be partnering with three amazing San Francisco restaurants, AQ, Stones Throw, and Alta CA who will be offering their customers the ability to bypass the Luxe wait list and get a complimentary first park with Luxe.

We are grateful to our investors, Redpoint Ventures, Google Ventures, Sherpa Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, Foundation Capital, BoxGroup, Slow Ventures, Data Collective, Eniac Ventures, Rothenberg Ventures, as well as others, who have given us the support we needed as we’ve developed our core technology, grown our team of veterans from Google, Zynga, Tesla, Yahoo!, and Groupon, and recruited the city’s best and brightest valets to serve our customers. We’re at the very beginning of a new adventure in transforming parking from a necessary nightmare to a delightful part of city life, and we can’t wait to help more people get to the good part of their days faster – and of course bring Luxe’s on demand parking service to more cities.

Happy parking,

Curtis Lee

Luxe CEO

@curtislee