SoftBank invests in parking startup ParkJockey pushing valuation to $1 billion

SoftBank continues to invest in the future of transportation — this time in ParkJockey, a startup that has built a technology platform aimed at monetizing parking lots. And ParkJockey, which was founded in 2013, is already using that capital to scale up.

Along with the SoftBank investment news, ParkJockey also announced that it was acquiring two of the largest parking operators in North America. The startup, with help from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from Owl Rock, said it had reached an agreement to acquire Imperial Parking Corporation, a North American-based parking management company often referred to as Impark. The agreement follows ParkJockey’s acquisition of parking management operator Citizens Parking Inc.

The investment puts the ParkJockey valuation to more than $1 billion, reported Miami Herald.

Miami-based ParkJockey developed a parking management platform that helps commercial property owners better monetize parking lots as well as handle operations at large venues and stadiums. The company’s platform offers features like automatic license plate recognition and pay-by-app, among others.  The company’s app also can be used by drivers to find parking spaces more efficiently.

Financial terms of the SoftBank investment or the acquisitions weren’t disclosed. The announcement follows an Axios article last week that reported SoftBank was backing the startup.

The Impark transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019, ParkJockey said. 

SoftBank’s investment in parking might seem rather, well, pedestrian. It’s actually a bet on an automated future from present-day parking management issues like electric vehicle charging, designated areas for ride-hailing and automatic pay, as well as a day when vehicles are fully autonomous.

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