Deals

ParkWhiz makes parking easy, snares $10 million

Looking to secure its share of the estimated $30 billion US parking industry, Chicago-based ParkWhiz hauled in a $10 million second round of funding Monday.

Jump Capital led the round. Other investors include Hyde Park Venture Partners, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Nokia/Navteq CTO Amreesh Modi, former Technology Crossover Ventures Partner Henry Feinberg, and Hyde Park Angels.

“With our Series B round, we can give drivers one-touch access to low-priced options through our free mobile app, with a secure, frictionless parking experience,” Aashish Dalal, ParkWhiz chief executive and co-founder, said in a statement on the news.

ParkWhiz touts itself as a parking marketplace where drivers in 125 cities find and pay for parking through the startup’s mobile app and website. The company has gained considerable traction in Chicago, New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

Parking apps and the venture cash funding them have become ubiquitous over the past year, with some of them coming under political fire.

For example, MonkeyParking launched their app in San Francisco that enabled people to bid on vacant parking spaces, and infuriated SF district attorney Dennis Herrera called the app illegal and threatened to sue the Rome-based company. MonkeyParking caved and pulled their app off the market.

“In 125 markets across the country, ParkWhiz offers easy-in, easy-out access to a wide range of parking options, many at a discounted rate,” Dalal said.

Dalal said the $10 million infusion would be used to grow its footprint in more U.S. and international cities.

The chief executive said figures obtained from the International Parking Institute show that the U.S. parking industry is worth $30 billion yearly. And thirty percent of downtown traffic congestion is caused by drivers circling as they look for parking. ParkWhiz said its app streamlines the headache of parking and makes it easier to find vacant spots.

ParkWhiz was launched in Chicago in 2006 and is headquartered there.

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