With Space to Grow, Parking Vendors Looking for Scale

Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar envisions a world where we all leave our homes knowing the exact spot where we’ll park when we get to our destination.

U.S. cities are nowhere near reaching that parking utopia, meaning that there is plenty of room for Parkmobile and companies like it to grow.

“The parking and mobility space overall is growing rapidly as consumers increasingly adopt mobile solutions,” Ziglar said. “Currently, the mobile parking market is hugely underpenetrated with respect to consumer adoption and, moreover, with respect to mobile technologies’ share of total parking transactions (on-street and off) nationwide.”

Ziglar estimates that less than 1% of all garage parking and less than 15% of all on-street parking sessions nationwide go through a mobile app system such as Parkmobile’s.

Because of this low penetration, Ziglar estimates that the industry can grow by at least 50% per year for the next five to ten years.

As the industry expands and the use of mobile to find and pay for parking becomes more commonplace, consumer utility is going to be an important competitive factor, Ziglar noted. Consumers are looking for efficiency and convenience, and technology such as the ability to reserve a spot is improving the parking experience.

Choice will also be important. The more parking spots a vendor has available in its app, the more likely it is that drivers will choose that app over another option, he said.

Parking vendor SpotHero announced last week that it has acquired rival Parking Panda. The acquisition gives SpotHero a presence in Canada as well as access to Parking Panda’s event parking relationships with NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA teams, among other organizations, it said.

The company cited an increased presence as one of the reasons for the acquisition.

“We’re thrilled to combine forces with Parking Panda to bring easy parking to more drivers faster,” Mark Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of SpotHero, said in a press release.

Like any business that depends on transaction volume, scale is important for parking providers, Ziglar said.

“The SpotHero acquisition of Parking Panda is indicative of the overall consolidation going on in the space as companies look to increase scale and presence,” Ziglar said.

“Overall, companies in our industry building scale through acquisition is a positive, as it helps the mobile parking market to gain traction with mainstream users.”

Parkmobile itself has acquired two other businesses in the past three years, Ziglar said.