INRIX Acquires ParkMe—and Its Reams of Data—for Undisclosed Sum

ParkMe, the Santa Monica, CA-based service that allows drivers to find and reserve parking spaces in busy urban centers, has been acquired by Kirkland, WA-based INRIX.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Alex Israel, ParkMe’s co-founder, says the entire 25-person ParkMe operation will join INRIX, but the company will maintain its “brand and offices” in Santa Monica.

INRIX, which collects and sells real-time traffic data to automakers, governments, and businesses, said in a statement the acquisition will bolster its parking data services. ParkMe and INRIX have collaborated for roughly the past three years, and Israel says the acquisition marks “the next level of the relationship.”

Israel and his co-founder, Sam Friedman, started the company in Friedman’s parents’ garage in 2009. ParkMe eventually picked up $7.5 million from investors, including Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners, which is led by Bill Ford of the Ford Motor Company.

Over the years, ParkMe has developed relationships with businesses and individual parking garages, making it possible for users to pay for their spots in advance, either by smartphone app or through ParkMe’s website. The app has a timer that shows drivers how much time is left on their parking meters, as well as a feature called Direct to Driveway, which helps drivers navigate right to their parking spots instead of to the street address associated with the venue they’re visiting.

In a press release, INRIX said the acquisition would help the company expand its data aggregation and industry expertise. INRIX provides “driving intelligence” services, including parking and navigation, to Audi, BMW, Toyota, and other automotive customers.

According to a 2015 Frost & Sullivan report cited in the INRIX press release, the smart parking market is growing at 28 percent annually and is expected to be worth more than $3 billion over the next decade. INRIX says ParkMe has built the world’s most comprehensive parking database, which includes more than 29 million spaces spanning 3,232 cities in 64 countries.

“This is the tip of the iceberg,” Israel says, adding that he’s looking forward to what his team will create as a result of the formalized relationship with INRIX. “We’re excited to take the next step.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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