Parking startup JustPark has received funding from Index Ventures, taking on its second investment since 2011. Index's Robin Klein will join the Board of Directors. The company provides an online parking marketplace that connects home and business owners who would like to earn money from renting out their parking space with drivers in need of a convenient and cost-effective place to park. In 2011, JustPark partnered with BMW i Ventures, a move that likely had a lot to do with the company's announcement that it will be integrated into MINI cars through a dashboard function. It's a big step forward for JustPark, which is trying to solidify its place in a potentially massive market and planning to ramp up international expansion.
But it might find some stiff competition. A herd of parking startups has emerged in recent years, and they've quickly grabbed the attention—and funding—of venture capital investors. Two in particular are ParkWhiz and SpotHero. Both companies are headquartered in Chicago and both have landed funding from major VC firms within the past couple of months. ParkWhiz raised $10 million of Series B funding from Jump Capital and Hyde Park Venture Partners, among others, in July; that investment valued the company at $27 million. SpotHero picked up $4.5 million of Series A funding from investors including Chicago Ventures, Battery Ventures and 500 Startups in June; the round valued the company at over $17 million.
While the Chi-Town rivals battle it out, there are other VC-backed parking startups looking to take a bite out of this emerging market. Two more companies, both of which scored Series A funding rounds in 2013, are Parking Panda and PassportParking. Parking Panda raised $4.8 million in February of last year, while PassportParking grabbed $6 million last December; both startups are valued at $16 million. And let's not forget about Parko, an Israeli startup that raised $1.1 million of seed funding this past June.