M&A Real estate & property tech Transportation & Logistics

Parking Startup Metropolis Raises $1.7B, Buys SP Plus

This hasn’t been the biggest year for M&A (we’ve been over some of that), but the market clearly isn’t completely dead.

Los Angeles-based checkout-free parking startup Metropolis will take logistics firm SP Plus private in a deal worth approximately $1.5 billion. This represents a premium of about 52% to SP Plus’ closing stock price on Oct. 4.

To finance the deal, Metropolis is raising $1.7 billion in debt and equity led by Eldridge and 3L Capital, along with new investors including BDT & MSD Partners’ affiliated credit funds, Vista Credit Partners and Temasek. The startup company has raised $1.05 billion through a Series C offering and $650 million of debt financing.

Big deal

The deal is the biggest M&A transaction of the year by a VC-backed company, per Crunchbase data. It beats out Databricks’ purchase of San Francisco-based language models training startup MosaicML for $1.3 billion in June. It’s also larger than Scottsdale, Arizona-based proptech firm Lessen’s acquisition of competitor SMS Assist for a reported $950 million in January after raising a $500 million mix of debt and equity to finance the transaction.

Metropolis has developed a computer vision system that enables drivers to park without using a credit card or even cash. Instead drivers can use the app and enter information such as name and payment method. Metropolis then tracks the car and charges the owner. It can even email a receipt while on their way out of the parking lot.

The transaction is expected to close in 2024, subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and approval of SP Plus’ stockholders.

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Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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