LOS ANGELES—A busy hotel can have its pros and cons, especially when it comes to parking. Nex Valet, a cloud-based software platform, aims to make the experience frictionless.
“Anyone who has parked in a major city knows the hurdles that you have to overcome when you are trying to get somewhere on time,” said Nex Valet CEO Britany Walsh. “I was parking in Hollywood to have lunch with a friend and I couldn’t find parking. The valet only took cash, so I had to run to an ATM, pay a $3 fee for a $5 valet charge and when the entire process was over, he took over 20 minutes to pick up my car and I was late for a meeting I had scheduled after lunch.”
Out of a problem, a solution was born. Walsh set about developing, along with her software engineer husband, Matthew Walsh, this software system that strives to close the gap between a valet company and its clients.
“Over the next few months, we worked day and night on the design, code and flow of the application and, shortly after, we had a working product,” said Walsh. “It allows them to park and track vehicles very accurately. The customer receives a text message, and they can simply click a provided link and pay with either cash or credit card right from their phone and request their vehicle.”
Nex Valet is not an app and it doesn’t require a download—or even smartphone to use the service. According to Walsh, this particular feature gives her a wider audience and provides ease of use to customers.
“We also accept credit cards as payment; our competitors do not. Our software is internationalized and supports 43 languages and 127 currencies worldwide,” she said. “The competitors that do exist want you to buy special hardware from them, and they want you to pay a monthly fee and pay around ten cents per car. That can get very expensive. We offer flat pricing to everyone, no hidden fees and no software restrictions or locked features. We also have no-contract policy with our customers.”
Here’s how it works:
- A customer drives up, and the valet attendant takes their name and phone number (if they speak a different language, the valet can select it and all future correspondence will be in their native language).
- The customer receives a text message with a link, and they can either reply to the message or click the link to request their vehicle.
- The valet parks the car, and can take pictures as well. The software tracks every person who touches the car, and when, holding them accountable for damage or theft.
- The customer clicks the link, pays with credit card and the vehicle is requested. The software finds any valet attendant who is not occupied with a pick-up or drop-off and tells them to pick up the vehicle.
Nex Valet touts a global customer base composed of mostly boutique hotels, shopping and restaurants. Walsh noted the company is starting to gain interest from larger hotel groups.
“In the U.S., our latest property is Hotel Paso Del Norte in El Paso, TX, a large historical hotel undergoing a $70-million renovation,” she said. “We have our software in a South Florida Ritz-Carlton and we have a pending deal with a very prominent and well-known hotel brand on the Las Vegas strip, but those details are confidential until it is finalized.”