Spot, the new mobile parking app from Boston-based Spot Park, began in 2013 when Braden Golub saw 10 unused parking spots in his apartment’s garage.
Golub, who’d gotten back from feeding a meter to cover his fiancée’s parking near his place in Boston. A former employee at RentalBeast, a Boston real estate startup, Golub knew there had to be a better way to make use of that space.
After doing some research, Golub determined that there were 50,000 private parking spots in Boston and 30,000 that are easily accessible. At many of those spots, people like Golub are paying $300 month for space that mostly goes unused.
So Spot was born, a way to connect unused private parking spaces with folks who want to rent it out. Think of it as Airbnb.com for your parking space, driveway, or even local business parking lot.
“We did a launch of the beta in June 2014,” Golub says. “Within five months we had 6,000 people enroll just in the our beta program. Since then we’ve increased that and we’re right around the 10,000 user mark.”
The service is now based solely in Boston, but has plans to expand into seven other east coast markets in 2015,
Unlike other companies in the market, that go after parking garages, the Spot Park service allows users who download the app to book inventory in private parking spots.
To fulfill its vision, Spot has raised just under $1 million from undisclosed angel investors from Boston, New York, and the Midwest.
The app requires people who are posting parking inventory to verify their address with a piece of mail or a utility bill. “People have no trouble sending us a picture of their mail or utility bill knowing that they’re going to be making money off of something they hadn’t made money off of before.”
Users who want to find a place to park simply download the app and click on a “find my spot” option. The app provides navigation to the nearest private parking space that’s available and users then pay a set rate based on whether they want to book the spot on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.