‘Waze of Parking’ app SpotAngels raises $2.3 million

SpotAngels, an app that uses crowdsourced data to help drivers find parking and avoid tickets, has raised $2.3 million from a group of investors that includes Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen.

Luc Vincent, the former head of Google Street View and vice president of engineering at Lyft, as well as Y Combinator, Streamlined Ventures and Via ID also invested in the round. 

The startup plans to use the funding to expand to other U.S. cities and improve its free mobile app, including a new “predicted availability” feature that it hopes to launch later this year. The new feature allows drivers to know what the odds are of finding a spot in any given area before heading there.

The existing app works like a network — the more users, the better the intel. Once a user installs the app, it can provide real-time data to the greater SpotAngels community. The app, which uses the car’s Bluetooth connection or phone motion sensors, knows when the user’s vehicle is parking or leaving a spot. 

The app also displays the location of all street parking spots and garages with detailed rules and prices that is kept current through its users. Drivers use it to find free street parking, the cheapest parking meter or garage. 

The startup’s newest “predicted availability” feature, which is expected to launch in San Francisco by the end of year, takes historical parking data from dashcam videos that SpotAngels collects through members of its community.

SpotAngels uses computer vision technology to count parked cars on these videos to determine how occupied streets are at a given time.

The app is available in 20 U.S. cities, including San Francisco and New York City.