“Smart parking” platform Streetline just announced that it has raised $25 million in Series C funding.
The round was led by True Ventures, with participation from new investors Qualcomm Ventures and Citi, as well as past backers Sutter Hill Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, and Fontinalis Partners. The company has now raised a total of $40 million, and it says it recently obtained a $25 million credit facility from Citi, too.
Streetline’s technology helps drivers find empty parking spaces, while also allowing cities, universities, and parking-lot owners to learn more about their parking occupancy “at every second of the day.” It uses sensors installed next to parking spaces to determine whether a space is empty, then delivers that data to apps, including the free Parker app for consumers and other products designed for city planners and parking facility operators.
It’s a compelling idea, but also one that might be ambitious to a fault, especially since Streetline is trying to serve so many different groups of customers. Yet CEO Zia Yusuf said the service is now live in 30 different cities and universities, and it just launched internationally, with deployments in Braunschweig, Germany, and Birmingham, U.K. It took four or five years of “really hard work” to get to this point, he said. Streetline is working with bigger partners to accelerate its growth — for example, it recently announced a partnership with Cisco to deliver its data through Cisco’s municipal Wi-Fi networks, starting in San Mateo and San Carlos, Calif.
Streetline has evolved from focusing primarily on sensors to becoming more of “a data and apps company,” Yusuf said. He now pitches it as part of the broader “Internet of Things” trend:
What is the Internet of Things? At its basic form you’re generating new types of data. Everybody talks about big data, but I think it’s more important to talk about new data. I look at this from the perspective of a city talking to you, telling you that ‘I have parking here’ or that a light is broken. How can you have a city give you this information, and how can an inanimate object in a city give you this information? That’s the Internet of Things.
In the press release announcing the funding, True partner Puneet Agarwal also talks about the opportunity found in the larger trend and says Streetline “has cracked the code on making smart parking technology both reliable and cost-effective to deploy.”
And even as cities face budget challenges, Yusuf said the service “pays for itself,” because it helps them price their parking spaces more effectively, for example by offering dynamic pricing based on demand from block to block.
The round will help fund international growth. Yusuf said he’s also thinking about how to effectively package Streetline data for other kinds of customers, such as “the Googles of the world.”