ParkWhiz gets $24M to consolidate on-demand parking

Acqusition of BestParking brings together big players in Chicago and New York

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
January 27, 2016
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/42f4

ParkWhiz, provider of an app for booking parking spots in major cities, this week announced that it has closed a $24 million Series C round of funding led by Baird Capital with participation from Beringea and previous investor Jump Capital.

In total, the company has raised $36 million to date.

Additionally, ParkWhiz has acquired BestParking, another parking spot booking service that had enjoyed relatively wide usage without ever raising venture capital. BestParking offered booking for parking facilities in 105 cities and 115 airports in North America and said the service was used by nearly a million motorists.

Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, ParkWhiz specifically cites in its announcement the acquisition of BestParking as one of the primary reasons for raising new capital.

ParkWhiz’s free app (available for both iOS and Android) makes it dead simple for someone looking for a spot. You search for a spot in a given location, book it online or in the ParkWhiz app, and then park there at the time you've reserved. The app also offers directions to the spot, a mobile parking pass to show operators of the spot, and special discounts.

Combining forces with BestParking, ParkWhiz now offers over 800,000 spaces across 4,000 parking locations in more than 50 major U.S. cities., with its main markets being Chicago (where the company is based), New York City, and San Francisco. Also combining figures from both companies, ParkWhiz says it helped drive over $50 million in revenue for parking operators last year.

The company makes money by charging parking providers a commission for each booking—we’ve reached out to see how much this is exactly but they're not disclosing.

ParkWhiz does not discriminate when it comes to working with entities that manage parking spaces. So while the company obviously works with businesses running massive parking lots in metropolitan areas, it also works with individuals who have personal parking spaces they’re willing to share.

This fact means ParkWhiz fits squarely in the peer-to-peer space alongside other much larger companies like ridesharing services Uber and Lyft as well as Airbnb, WeWork, and various others. Whether an app for sharing parking spaces on-demand can reach the sky-high valuations achieved by those other sharing economy companies remains to be seen.

Other companies in this space include ParkMe,  London-based JustPark (which last year raised £3.7 million in a highly successful equity crowdfunding campaign), and Paris-based MobyPark. There exist many others, but the consolidation of ParkWhiz and BestParking combined with the sizable Series C round suggests that leaders in the space may be emerging.

ParkWhiz says it will use its remaining funds from the new round to grow its mobile offering and develop new products.

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