Los Angeles Business Journal

ParkMe Signs Up More Parking Garages

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Santa Monica startup ParkMe has made a key alliance in its continued quest to map the landscape of parking garages and available metered spots.

The company announced Wednesday that it has partnered with ABM Parking Services to provide real-time data about parking availability and rates in ABM-operated garages around the country.

People who use ParkMe’s mobile phone app or GPS systems will now be able to see how full an ABM parking garage is before they enter. The app uses a color-coded icon to indicate parking availability in each garage.

ParkMe already offers similar real time data in some cities and through other small vendors. But Sam Friedman, ParkMe’s chief executive, said the partnership is a big step for the company because it adds almost 2,000 parking facilities to the company’s list. It also helps ParkMe gain better traction in the more than 500 cities where it now operates.

The partnership announcement comes on the heels of ParkMe’s recent funding round. The company said in January that it had raised an undisclosed amount of money from L.A. private equity firm Angeleno Group and received follow-on investments from Fontinalis Partners and IDG Ventures.

ParkMe started with limited data about parking garage rates, hours and availability. Since then, it has expanded to include information about available metered parking spots in downtown and Santa Monica.

The company does have some local competition from Streetline, a Foster City company that helps cities and parking garages add sensors to parking spaces. Streetline has its own parking app, Parker, which launched in 2010 in Hollywood and expanded into Venice earlier this month.

But Friedman said ParkMe will continue to expand into new neighborhoods in Los Angeles and cities across the United States regardless of whether Parker is already available there.