Chicago, Illinois-based parking inventory and booking startup SpotHero today announced that it has secured $50 million in a series D round led by Macquarie Capital, bringing its total raised to date to $118 million. CEO and cofounder Mark Lawrence said the round, which saw participation from investors Union Grove Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, OCA Ventures, AutoTech Ventures, and others, will strengthen the company’s partnerships with mobility companies and deepen its technology stack.
The fiscal vote of confidence comes after a year during which SpotHero reached half a billion dollars in all-time sales and 900-plus distribution partnerships and integrations, including with Google Assistant, WageWorks, Waze, Hertz, Car2Go, WeWork, and Moovit. The company claims it’s on pace to hit $1 billion in transactions within the next year as it aims to double its engineering headcount to over 100 people.
“By standardizing the way parking is bought and sold, we are introducing the same visibility into parking inventory that people expect from the airline or hospitality industries,” said Mark Lawrence, SpotHero CEO and cofounder. “That’s a big win for drivers, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to modernize parking. Together with our network of more than 1,000 operator and platform partners, and our new and existing investors, we look forward to bringing this next phase of industry growth to life.”
SpotHero was founded in 2011 by Lawrence, Jeremy Smith, and Larry Kiss with the mission of bringing underutilized and often “invisible” parking spaces online, thereby reducing the need to build new parking structures in crowded cities. To this end, it currently operates over 7,000 parking locations in 300 cities in the United States and Canada and handles millions of reservations through its website and apps each month.
A portion of SpotHero’s garages are outfitted with sensors that allow car operators to automatically book and pay for parking spaces, including license plate scanners and connected parking meters. On the software side, the HeroConnect software development kit and API facilitates payments and lets vehicles, carmakers, ridesharing services, and cities exchange parking data.
Conventional cars drive the bulk of Chicago-based SpotHero’s business, but the startup recently set its sights on a driverless future. Earlier this year, it announced that more than 500 of its connected parking garages in Chicago have been adapted to accommodate autonomous cars, trucks, and SUVs. The idea is that Uber, Lyft, Waymo, and the hundreds of other automakers and self-driving car startups will rent spaces from SpotHero as needed.
Outside of autonomous vehicles, SpotHero recently took the wraps off SpotHero for Fleets, which it describes as an industry-first parking-as-a-service solution designed to support the car sharing economy. Separately, it brought SpotHero for Business, the enterprise-focused service with tools for paying and managing parking expenses that was introduced in July 2017, to over 600 corporate travel and enterprise clients.
“SpotHero is in position to transform the entire parking industry and has built a foundation to support the future of mobility for a long time to come, including the movement toward shared use and EV fleets,” said Macquarie Capital senior vice president Lucas Joynt. “SpotHero’s leadership position makes the company an attractive investment for Macquarie Capital as we continue to drive innovation at the intersection of infrastructure, real estate, and technology. We look forward to supporting SpotHero as it scales to its next phase of growth.”