Why We Invested: Parkade

Mark Accomando
Apr 21 · 3 min read
Parkade Logo

Heartland Ventures recently invested in Parkade. Why?

Car ownership has grown consistently over the past decade and continues to rise as urban dwellers flock to the suburbs. This has led to a sustained crunch for public parking. Now with vaccines coming, we anticipate 2021 will see an even larger crunch for parking, particularly where street dining and bike lanes are replacing curb parking.

All this is happening at the same time that there are 660 million off-street parking spaces in the United States that are not open to the public. Often, local governments and lenders mandate the over-development of private parking in residential and commercial developments. The development of a single parking space can cost as much as $40,000. This leads to massive capital expenditures that are rarely clawed back from operations where an average of 20–40% of parking is left vacant or underutilized.

Bucking that trend, we have seen forward-thinking cities like South Bend, IN eliminate minimum parking requirements for commercial developments. Additionally, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for the elimination of such minimum parking requirements nationwide.

Heartland’s multi-family real estate stakeholders have expressly stated that parking is a cost center and often a point of friction for their tenants. Short-term leases are too costly to manage so they lock their tenants into long-term contracts. Thus, guest parking is often unavailable or overly challenging to manage. Finally, property managers struggle to control the utilization of their EV charging stations that are continuing to grow in popularity and ultimately a critical decision-making factor for apartment leasing.

Among all of these challenges — policy changes, shrinking availability of public parking, poor utilization of private parking, and lousy tenant experiences — is precisely where we believe Parkade can step in and improve the experience for all stakeholders.

Parkade Platform
Parkade Platform
Parkade’s easy-to-use platform

Parkade combines an easy-to-operate user interface that puts the control back into the hands of property managers by delivering flexible parking. The solution enables tenants to lease their parking spaces for the duration that best suits their needs and allows them to re-rent their spots in a peer-to-peer marketplace. It also allows property managers to open the underutilized and vacant spaces in a private building to the public without having to build more garages and more spaces that will sit vacant during much of the off-peak hours.

This translates to real value for property managers by improving the tenant experience, increasing parking revenue, growing utilization of existing spaces and mitigating capex for future developments. Ultimately, Parkade allows property managers to transform parking from a headache and cost center into a tenant amenity and profit center overnight.

The company’s co-founders are the perfect team for the job. Co-founder and CEO, Evan Goldin, was the first product manager at Lyft and the fourteenth overall employee. Evan then went on to run product and user experience at Chariot through its acquisition by Ford Motor Company. Not only is Evan uniquely qualified to build the solution, he is obsessed with solving the ‘free parking problem’ as covered by Bloomberg in 2017. Evan and his co-founder and CTO, Ben Plowman have known each other for over a decade after working together at Ning. Ben then went on to lead mobile engineering at Getaround, the car-sharing innovator. Evan and Ben are perfectly equipped with the experience, technical know-how, and passion for solving this problem.

Evan and the team already have a partnership with over 20 different property managers across 4 states. Additionally, they are now working through initial deployments with several Heartland LPs, which will represent their entry into the Midwest. Heartland will again execute its strategy of providing our stakeholders with early access to innovative solutions and thereby enable a portfolio company to work with aligned early adopters that are interested in providing critical feedback for continued optimization.

We are thrilled to work with Parkade’s talented team in changing the future of parking.

For more information, please visit Parkade or contact Conor McGuinness directly at conor@heartlandvc.com.

Heartland Ventures

Capital Infusion. Customer Infusion.

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