(Globes (Tel Aviv) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 29--Crowdsourcing parking solution company Parko Ltd. has raised a $1.1 million seed round. Participating investors were SparkLabs Global Ventures, OurCrowd, and a syndicate of European angels. Jeff Pulver, Vonage Co-founder and VoIP pioneer, also joined the company's board of advisors.
"We are excited to bring our leading technology to navigation providers, mobile parking solutions, automobile manufacturers, and municipalities," said Parko VP Partnerships Andrea Kruchik.
The current offering has been expanded to include Parko's new parking availability information map-layer and parking guidance API, which can be integrated into any iOS or Android driving-related app. The company has recently added branches in San Francisco and Paris to its Israel offices.
Parko's new API allows drivers to find the optimal navigation route to a parking spot with real-time updates from other drivers. Parko's technology analyzes the parking habits of opt-in users.
Parko CTO Itai David said, "We collect the anonymous data of when people park on-street, when they vacate the parking spot, on which street, and at what time."
Advanced algorithms analyze this data and build a map of parking availability for each street and for any given moment. The maps are continuously updated in real-time as new parking data is sourced from the crowd.
David added, "It's much like traffic information -- we color the streets red, orange or green depending the probability of finding parking there for the current moment."
Parko's new API also provides a door-to-door ETA (estimated time of arrival) that takes into account the expected parking search time for the area you're driving to. This is in addition to the time a person would walk from the parking spot to the destination. Parko's solution is being integrated into navigation solutions and mobile parking payment solutions in the US.
Parko CEO Tomer Neu-Ner said, "Our technology provides a level playing field for people trying to find a parking space as quickly as possible. It's a real technology solution and not some archaic auction system that takes advantage of a public good."
The company was founded in 2011 by Neu-Ner and David.
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