We've all been there.
Anyone who's lived in a big city knows exactly what it's like to drive around looking for parking. There are times when you spend more time looking for parking than you did driving to where you needed to go! It can be torture. Now there's a new and improved app for those poor souls trapped in their cars for hours.
Parking in Motion, which was founded in 2009 and backed by IDG Ventures and Fontinalis Partners, announced Wednesday that it's rebranded itself ParkMe, and has added a slew of functionality to help drivers find the cheapest and closes parking spots.
There are a few other apps out that provide their users with data on parking in local areas, and ParkMe is the only one that that can give parking updates in real time, said Sam Friedman, CEO of ParkMe, in an interview with me. It is the real-time feature that gives LA-based ParkMe the advantage over all of their competition, he added.
Additionally, the app also has a new feature called the “rate calculator." This feature will automatically calculate the total price of parking based on the amount of time a driver would have to stay.
The app is already available in over 500 cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Friedman told me that he is planning on doing a rollout in the top 10 to 20 markets in the U.S. in the next year, including San Francisco, New York and Chicago. The next city on the list: Austin, Texas, right before the big SXSW Festival.
While Friedman wouldn't disclose the number of downloads the original app has had, he said he sees the new app as a new start. "We really see this new ParkMe app almost as a relaunch," said Friedman. "it is a fresh beginning for us. Since we launched in 2009, our focus has been on building the database, collecting and aggregating the data."
The ParkMe app is currently free, and Friedman says it will stay that way. The company currently derives revenue from licensing their app to navigation systems. "We've licensed data to TomTom, one of the world's largest navigation compaies for a deal that was in the mid five figures," said Friedman. "And, third-party app developers are also seeking out parking data, so ParkMe has multiple channels of growth."
In the future, ParkMe hopes to enable people to pay for parking straight from the app.
(Image source: parkinginmotion)