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FounderMark Lawrence
Larry Kiss
Jeremy Smith
HeadquartersChicago, IL
Area served
North America
Key people
Mark Lawrence (CEO)
Larry Kiss (CTO)
ServicesParking reservations
Number of employees
200+ (July 2017)[1]

SpotHero is a parking reservation service that connects drivers looking to reserve and prepay for parking spaces with parking lots, parking garages and valet services. The service, which operates a mobile app and website, is available in 50 cities in the United States and Canada. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois.


Early beginnings[edit]

SpotHero was founded by Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith in Chicago in 2011, with co-founder Larry Kiss joining the company soon after.[2][3] Lawrence and Smith were motivated to start SpotHero based on their experiences with excessive parking tickets, feeling there should be a better way to park.[4] After its early beginnings at startup incubator TechNexus,[5] SpotHero was molded at the Excelerate Labs technology incubator (now known as TechStars Chicago).[6][7] The company started out as a peer-to-peer parking marketplace, where people could rent out their own private parking spots, before expanding the platform to partner with parking companies and garages.[8][9]

In December 2012, SpotHero raised $2.5 million in venture capital funds from Battery Ventures (lead), 500 Startups, Bullet Time, e.Ventures, OCA Ventures, New World Ventures, Lightbank, and Draper Associates; at the time, it only served Milwaukee and Chicago.[6][7] In June 2014, SpotHero raised an additional $4.5 million in funding and announced new board of directors members, including LinkedIn's Mike Gamson,'s Sam Yagan and venture capitalist Sam Guren.[10] The company raised $20 million in Series B funding in 2015,[11] and an additional $30 million in a Series C round in July 2017.[1]

Growth and expansion[edit]

In the 18 months between the first two rounds of funding, the company expanded from 5 to 22 full-time employees, grew to 7 business markets (Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore, Newark and Milwaukee) and opened an office in New York City.[2][12] By August 2015, SpotHero serviced 12 cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC.[13][14] In July 2016, the company expanded to Los Angeles,[15] and in January 2017 added 13 additional cities, including Austin, Indianapolis, Miami and San Diego.[16] As of May 2017, the company services 47 cities in North America[17] and has over 200 employees.[1]

On October 20, 2015, former Zipcar executive John Horton joined the SpotHero team as the GM to lead and grow the team in New York City.[18]

SpotHero for Business was launched in March 2017, as a business-focused service with features and tools for paying, managing and organizing parking expenses.[19] The company also launched a free developer platform to help businesses integrate parking reservations into their existing apps.[20] In May 2017, SpotHero announced a partnership with commuter employee benefits administrator WageWorks allowing users to pay pre-tax dollars for daily parking near their places of work.[17]


In April 2015, SpotHero acquired San Francisco-based peer-to-peer parking marketplace ParkPlease.[21][22]

In April 2017, SpotHero acquired Parking Panda, a Baltimore-based services and event parking company.[23][24] The acquisition expanded SpotHero into Canada, and brought the number of parking locations the company can reserve at to over 5,000.[23][24]


SpotHero is available as an app on iOS and Android.[25] It focuses on daily and monthly off-street parking, partnering with private garages and lots to offer available spots through its booking platform.[9][26] The app allows users to find available parking in private garages and lots, and book and pay for a spot in advance,[8] in many cases receiving a discount from the drive-up rate.[4][12][9] The company collects a commission on each parking spot transaction.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c John Pletz, "SpotHero tops off with another $30 million," Crain's Chicago Business, July 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "On Demand Parking App SpotHero Raises $4.5 Million In Series A Funding". MarketWatch. 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  3. ^ a b Kate Rogers, "SpotHero: An app that makes parking reservations," CNBC, May 7, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Rogers, Kate (2014-07-16). "SpotHero's Founder Wants to Take Hassle out of Big City Parking". FOX Business. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  5. ^ "Investors park $4.5 million in SpotHero". Crain's Chicago Business. 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  6. ^ a b "Chicago's SpotHero Raises 2.5mm to Bring Sanity to Urban Parking". Forbes. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  7. ^ a b Rao, Leena (2012-12-13). "SpotHero Raises $2.5M From Battery, Lightbank To Help You Reserve Parking In Garages". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  8. ^ a b Kia Kokalitcheva, "SpotHero launches its parking app in SF, and on-demand valet startups should worry," VentureBeat, December 9, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Alex Moazed, "SpotHero Paves the Way for Parking," Inc., November 18, 2016.
  10. ^ Janega, James (2014-06-11). "SpotHero announces new funding, board members". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  11. ^ Kristen Hall-Geisler, "SpotHero is ready for the future of autonomous parking," TechCrunch, September 8, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Sara Ashley O’Brien, "App could save you from parking tickets," New York Post, September 21, 2013.
  13. ^ Matney, Lucas (2015-08-19). "On-Demand Parking Service SpotHero Raises $20M In Series B". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  14. ^ Kokalitcheva, Kia (2015-08-19). "Forget valet apps — SpotHero raises $20 million to let people park their own cars". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  15. ^ Ally Marotti, "SpotHero expands to LA, plans to add other West Coast cities," Chicago Tribune, July 19, 2016.
  16. ^ Meg Graham, "Chicago-based parking startup SpotHero pulls into 13 new markets," Chicago Tribune, January 26, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Cheryl V. Jackson, "SpotHero, WageWorks team up for pretax on-demand parking near your job," Chicago Tribune, May 16, 2017.
  18. ^ Matney, Lucas. "Parking App SpotHero Doubles Down On NYC, Hires Former Zipcar GM To Lead Charge". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  19. ^ Paul Sawers, "SpotHero for Business launches to help employees submit parking expenses directly," VentureBeat, March 15, 2017.
  20. ^ Paul Sawers, "SpotHero launches developer platform to expand its parking inventory into third-party apps," VentureBeat, February 14, 2017.
  21. ^ Amina Elahi, "SpotHero buys ParkPlease in attempt to bolster San Francisco presence," Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2015.
  22. ^ John Pletz, "SpotHero acquires San Francisco competitor," Crain's Chicago Business, April 21, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Amina Elahi, "SpotHero buys Baltimore-based competitor Parking Panda," Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Kristen Hall-Geisler, "SpotHero acquires Parking Panda," TechCrunch, April 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Amina Elahi, "SpotHero wants to drive its parking-booking services right in front of you," Chicago Tribune, February 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "Heroic App Lets People Book Parking Spots Like They Do Hotels". Huffington Post. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2015-01-15.

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