ParkBee, a Dutch startup with smart technology to open up private car parks to the public, has announced it closed €5 million in funding to scale its business in the UK. After successfully growing in Amsterdam, the team is bringing affordable and accessible parking at premium spots to London. The funding round was led by German-based Statkraft Ventures with participation of existing investors. Statkraft Ventures is backed by the Statkraft Group, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.
With 60+ locations in the Netherlands and 20+ locations opened in the last months in the UK, ParkBee has proven its potential, by using smart technology that enables users to open up the barriers and doors from the RingGo and Parkmobile apps. The €5 million investment will help the startup to scale in London, making it possible for a wider UK expansion in the near future. With the new funding, the UK team will grow from 10 full-time employees to 25 in the coming months, solidifying a successful entry in the UK market by a European company after Brexit.
Parking can be an enormous hassle for anyone driving in big cities like London. Some studies suggest that drivers spend up to 44 hours a year searching for a parking spot in big cities. This costs the economy a lot of money in wasted time, fuel and emissions.
Tom Buchmann, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ParkBee, commented: “It’s hard to believe that there are so many unused parking spaces in London, whilst parking in London is such a hassle. In the last two years in the Netherlands, and last months in the UK, we have proven we can open-up these hidden location, that are most of the time behind speed gates or barriers. By partnering with real-estate owners and our integrated solution in the Parkmobile and RingGo app you can now open-up the barrier or speedgate with a click of a button.”
The ParkBee technology is fully compatible to any parking system and provides seamless entry for the consumer. ParkBee installs it’s smart hardware at the location and via their integrated software the location can be opened remotely via the Parkmobile and RingGo apps –in the UK alone, RingGo has 12 million registered users. The real-estate owner keeps control and can still manage the availability and ParkBee will optimise the occupancy of the location.
Stefan Hülsen, Senior Investment Manager at Statkraft Ventures, said: “While populations in numerous cities are becoming more dense, the infrastructure isn’t necessarily in the right state to deal with an increased demand. By making optimal use of the parking spots that are already available ParkBee opens-up new opportunities to park. ParkBee is a prime example of a company enabling cities to become smarter and fairer, while empowering citizens and businesses to improve and solve a problem.”
Founded in 2013 in the Netherlands by Jian Jiang and Tom Buchmann, ParkBee today operates over 60 locations in the Netherlands and has expanded its operations to London, where it already manages 20 locations.