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The deal was led by Macquarie Capital and saw participation from another new investor in the company: Union Grove Venture Partners. Insight Venture Partners and Global Founders Capital (co-leaders of SpotHero’s July 2017 Series C), OCA Ventures, AutoTech Ventures, and others followed on their prior investments this round, which brings the company’s total funding to approximately $118 million, according to the company and Crunchbase data.
In case you aren’t familiar with how SpotHero and services like it work, here’s the gist: It’s a marketplace for parking, a park-it place platform, if you will. Garage operators list their inventory on the platform, which customers can purchase on an hourly or month-to-month basis, typically at a discount from what the garage charges cars just coming through its gates. For example, just yesterday, mere blocks away from SpotHero’s central Loop HQ, I parked my car for about 6 hours and paid $8. I scanned in and scanned out of the Franklin Street garage with a QR code generated and displayed by SpotHero’s mobile app.
“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,” SpotHero co-founder and CEO Mark Lawrence said in a statement.
According to SpotHero, it has already “helped digitize nearly 7,000 parking facilities in the US and Canada,” and said it is the largest parking marketplace in North America. In its statement announcing the round, the company said it’s reached a half-billion dollars in lifetime transaction volume, “the majority [of which was] transacted within the past year,” through the first half of 2019. By this time in 2020, the company anticipates hitting $1 billion in gross transaction volume.
SpotHero has rolled out some new features and partnerships over the past six months, which bolstered its growth. Its new offering for fleet operators lets shared cars in and out of parking garages. Its SpotHero For Business program offers prepaid parking as a perk and business travel benefit; by billing companies directly, it saves employees time and the hassle of filing expense reports. The company also has over 900 distribution partnerships with the likes of Google-owned navigation app Waze and WeWork to provide commuter parking.
SpotHero says it will use its fresh financing to accelerate its growth and invest in its technology stack. The company is planning “to double product and engineering headcount to more than 100 in the next year.”