Chicago Inno: Parking startup Arrive to merge with Austin’s FlashParking

Originally published in Chicago Inno
January 05, 2021, 03:04pm CST
by Jim Dallke – Senior Editor

Chicago-based parking startup Arrive has merged with Austin’s FlashParking as the parking industry looks to rebound from a tumultuous 2020.

The two companies announced the deal Tuesday, the terms of which were not disclosed. The merger will create an “operating system for the new way to manage mobility,” the companies said in a statement. 

Arrive, founded in 2006, is a platform for finding and booking parking spaces. It operates consumer parking app ParkWhiz, which was also the company’s name before rebranding to Arrive. The startup has raised $60 million in venture funding from backers that include Amazon’s Alexa Fund, NewSpring and Jump Capital. Earlier this year Arrive launched a new mobile payment feature that allows users to pay and park without touching any tickets, buttons or payment machines.

Founded in 2011, FlashParking makes parking management software for parking garages. Last year it raised $60 million in a strategic investment from private equity firm L Catterton. Part of FlashParking’s vision is to reimagine parking garages as spaces that could act as a resting spot for Uber and Lyft drivers, charge electric vehicles, or house electric scooters, among other things.

The coronavirus hit the parking industry hard in 2020 as the pandemic kept many Americans in their homes and away from their offices, which saw parking garage use plummet. SpotHero, a competing online parking space marketplace, said the parking industry saw parking volume losses up to 90% in March.

Arrive and FlashParking say the combined company will help parking companies better prepare for the changing office and consumer landscape, and bring the contactless payment options consumers are looking for. 

“We have seen first-hand the devastating effects of the pandemic on the parking industry. A key component to recovery is deployment of cloud-based, future-ready technologies that allow asset owners and operators to modernize and diversify their business model with the addition of mobility services,” Dan Sharplin, CEO of FlashParking, said in a statement.

The companies were not immediately available Tuesday for additional comment on the deal.