Denver “Smart Parking” Startup Parkifi Raises $2M, Readies Rollout

Anyone who has tried to park his or her car on a busy day has thought there must be a better way to find a spot. Parkifi, a Denver-based startup, thinks it has found a way, and a group of Colorado investors agree.

Parkifi announced Monday it has raised a $2 million round that is the company’s first. Investors include Galvanize Ventures, Access Venture Partners, and the Foundry Group Angels syndicate. The company said in a release it will use the money to support growth in select markets and build its team in Denver.

The startup is developing software that drivers would be able to use to view the real-time availability of parking spots. The app also includes a visual aid to help drivers find an open space.

While that probably has some appeal to people trying to park downtown during a workday or when they’re out for a night out and are in a hurry, the company’s customers are cities and the owners of parking lots.

“The idea behind Parkifi is simply to make parking less of a hassle, and to do that at a reasonable cost to operators,” co-founder and CEO Ryan Sullivan said. “Drivers can find spots quicker and parking operators can optimize revenue by understanding how their lots are being used.”

To use Parkifi, cities and private lot owners would place small sensors in each spot, whether it’s in a garage, a surface lot, or a metered spot on the street. Each sensor would provide real-time information about occupancy and track usage and the average parking time. Parkifi customers could use the data to maximize revenue and make parking enforcement more efficient.

Sullivan and Rishi Malik founded Parkifi last year, and it was one of the first companies to go through the Boomtown Boulder startup accelerator. The company is testing its system in Denver, where it has a pilot project with a parking management company in charge of 7,000 spaces. A company in Pittsburgh and the city of Boulder, CO, also are trying out the system.

 

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