On-Demand Parking Service SpotHero Raises $20M In Series B

The task of locating a parking spot in a major city can be agonizing and at points seem downright impossible.

SpotHero is aiming to simplify the process and help drivers locate parking and reserve spots around the city through the company’s web and mobile apps.

SpotHero announced Wednesday that it had raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners. Also participating in the round were Battery Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Chicago Ventures, Draper Associates, OCA Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and 500 Startups.

The company had already raised more than $7 million since its founding in 2011.

I chatted with SpotHero CEO and co-founder Mark Lawrence, who said that the funding would be going towards accelerating marketing efforts, exploring strategic relationships and hiring 25 new employees as the company looks to expand more in the western United States.

The Chicago-based company currently has about 60 employees managing operations in 12 markets across the United States, including Boston, Chicago, New York City, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The company has seen impressive growth in the past year, growing 20% month-over-month, with over one million cars parked through the app in Chicago alone.

Lawrence also said that a devotion to understanding the needs of the urban car-owner has really assisted the company in gaining a foothold, especially in new markets like San Francisco.

“We’ve been able to emerge as a leader, because we really go deep in our markets compared to our competitors,” Lawrence told me.

Investors see SpotHero’s rapid growth as a major opportunity to latch on to and believe the company’s leadership is ready to tackle all of the logistical problems associated with parking a car.

“SpotHero is leveraging mobile technology to help the parking industry offer an even better consumer experience,” said Paul Martino, managing director at Bullpen Capital in an email. “Working closely with Mark and his team, I am confident that they have both the breadth and depth to become the go-to partner for the parking industry.”