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"Waze for parking" app secures $2.3m

Investment will be used to expand to cities across the US and enhance in-app features

The new predicted availability feature will launch in San Francisco by end of year
The new predicted availability feature will launch in San Francisco by end of year

SpotAngels, a community-based parking app that helps drivers find parking spots, has closed a $2.3m funding round.


The company describes the app as "Waze for parking”.


Backers included Lars Rasmussen (co-founder of Google Maps), Luc Vincent (former head of Google Street View and VP engineering at Lyft), Y Combinator, Streamlined Ventures, and Via-ID among others.


The funding will be used to expand to cities across the US and enhance in-app features including the introduction of a new feature called “predicted availability” which allows drivers to know what the odds are of finding a spot in any given area before heading there.


With the introduction of the predicted availability feature, SpotAngels said it will supplement its map with parking availability information on all streets.


The new feature works by extracting historical parking data from dash cam videos that SpotAngels collects through members of its community.


SpotAngels has developed proprietary computer vision technology to count parked cars on these videos to determine how occupied streets are at a given time. Unlike previous attempts to predict availability of streets based on traffic, SpotAngels claims its approach is highly accurate since it is based on the “ground truth” parking situation.


“The SpotAngels founding team is top notch technically. They are focused on a space that it ripe for disruption, with products that stand to improve the lives of millions of people,” said Vincent.


According to SpotAngels, the app is used by an engaged community of drivers in more than 20 US cities to find parking and avoid tickets. By installing the app users contribute real-time data to the community. The app knows that they are parking or leaving a spot in real-time by using the car’s bluetooth connection or phone motion sensors.


It sets parking reminders when they park and displays open spots on the map when they leave. SpotAngels said this allows users to see live open spots that open up around them.


The app also displays the location of all street parking spots and garages with detailed rules and prices that the SpotAngels community keeps up-to-date by sending parking signs pictures from the app. Drivers can use it to find free street parking, the cheapest parking meter or garage.


The new predicted availability feature is expected to be launched in San Francisco by end of 2018 with roll out in New York City following.


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