Deals

Ford chairman invests in QuickPay, an app to make parking suck less

Back in August, we covered the launch of QuickPay, a startup founded by former NASA executive Barney Pell to improve the parking experience. And today, QuickPay closed an additional $5.5 million in funding, bringing its total to $9 million.

QuickPay has a mobile app that lets you pay for on-street and off-street parking in lots and garages. Download the app, and enter your credit card information to access a list of garages, parking lots, and gated facilities that are integrated with QuickPay. In a few clicks, you can pay to park in any of these locations, and even scan a QR code to automatically raise the gate.

Pell admits that parking is a tricky problem to solve, but the company is making progress.

Its investors are a mix of angels and a few venture firms, including Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners, which was founded by Ford Motors’ executive chairman Bill Ford, Jr., Europe’s Ecomobilite Ventures, and IncWell, a venture firm founded by the former chief executive of Chrysler.

The company was founded in 2010, but it has intentionally stayed under the radar. At this point, Pell is primarily focused on signing up parking operators around the country rather than advertising. The goal is to sign up thousands more operators, so drivers won’t have to keep circling around the block to find an open space. “But as we roll out more, we are excited to do a lot more marketing to consumers, who will have a lot more places they can park with QuickPay,” said Pell.

Consumers are organically discovering the app (which has received mixed reviews), after seeing a sign in a parking lot. The user-base will likely increase in the coming months, as the company just partnered with several national parking operators, including ABM Parking Services. ABM manages over 2,000 parking locations in the U.S., including hospitals, hotels, and universities.

With its new round of funding, San Francisco-based QuickPay will also expand its team. The company is hiring marketing execs, customer service reps, and engineers.

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Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brand... read more »

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