ParkBee, a Netherlands-founded startup that lets private car parks monetize underutilized spaces by making them bookable to the public, has picked up €5 million in new funding
The round is led by German-based Statkraft Ventures, with participation from existing investors. Statkraft Ventures is backed by the Statkraft Group, which claims to be Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.
Originally launched in Amsterdam in early 2016 where it now has over 60 parking locations, ParkBee says the new capital will be used for further U.K. expansion after the burgeoning company recently brought its offering to London. It already has over 20 private car parks using the startup’s wares in the U.K. capital city.
Specifically, this consists of hardware ParkBee had to develop that is retrofitted to a private car park’s existing barrier or security system. Then there is a cloud platform that controls the bookings and unlocking of spaces and lets the car park owner handle inventory management.
The whole thing is also integrated with consumer-facing car parking space booking apps RingGo and Parkmobile, which let you unlock your booked space.
“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,” ParkBee commercial director Wouter de Bruijne tells me.
“It’s hard to believe that there are so many unused parking spaces in London, Amsterdam and almost any large city. The car parks of office buildings, apartment buildings but also hotels, business centres or sport venues have a lot of capacity, usually secure behind a closed speed gate or barrier. ParkBee opens up these locations to the public”.
Furthermore, de Bruijne argues there is major upside for landlords and other private car park owners with underutilized inventory. “The real-estate sector is always looking for ways to optimise the use of space. We optimise the use of their buildings and provide an additional revenue stream, he says.
To that end, the list of private property companies ParkBee is already working with include JLL, BT and local councils in the U.K.
Meanwhile, the ParkBee business model is straightforward. The company shares revenue generated through hiring out each parking space with the owner or at a larger location it rents the parking spots directly from the owner, therefore taking on a little more risk. In addition, the startup splits the fee it charges consumers with RingGo or Parkmobile.