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ParkBee, a Dutch startup has picked up €5 million in new funding for its Parkmobile and Park-line apps that let users book private car parking. The round was led by German-based Statkraft Ventures, with participation from existing investor InnovationQuarter. The app allows private car parks to monetize their underutilized spaces. ParkBee will use the raised amount to scale its business in the UK. Originally launched in Amsterdam in 2016, ParkBee has 60 parking locations on its app in Amsterdam city.
According to the British Parking Association (BPA), “drivers in London typically spend almost eight minutes searching for somewhere to park after each journey“. This translates into 44 hours a year, nearly one week in wait-time. The time is significantly higher for New York drivers that spend as much as 107 hours per year just to find parking. Given the figures, ParkBee’s move to expand and scale its London operations makes a lot of business sense. The startup also created buzz last year when it was selected to be the most promising from 25 top start-ups in real estate fair Expo Real held in Munich.
ParkBee’s solution consists of smart proptech hardware that integrates with an existing real estate’s existing access barriers and exit doors. Bookings and unlocking of parking are handled via ParkBee’s cloud platform accessible to both property owners and drivers via Parkmobile and Parkline mobile apps. The real-estate owner keeps control by managing the number of spots available to their demand and ParkBee will optimize the occupancy of the location. It’s also evidence of a larger trend of a growing sharing economy.
“Parking is an enormous hassle in every large city, and streets are only getting fuller, whilst the parking capacity is there but not yet accessible for the general public,” said ParkBee commercial director Wouter de Bruijne while talking to TechCrunch.
After the Netherlands, the team now aims to bring accessible parking at premium spots to the UK as well as introduce electric vehicle charging to their customers. ParkBee is already working with a number of private property companies in the UK including JLL, BT and local councils in the U.K.
“ParkBee is a fantastic example of a company providing a solution to a problem witnessed in many cities and large towns. While populations in numerous cities are becoming denser, the infrastructure isn’t necessarily in the right state to deal with an increased demand“, said Stefan Hülsen, Senior Investment Manager at Statkraft Ventures.
ParkBee had previously secured €1.8 million in funding from four informal investors and InnovationQuarter, the regional development agency for the province of South Holland. It has 60+ locations in the Netherlands and 20+ locations opened in the last months in the UK. With the new funding, the UK team will grow from 10 full-time employees to 25 in the coming months.
In the video below, you can see how the ParkBee solution operates.