Chicago Ventures, OCA Ventures, Pritzker Group, Lightbank and G2T3V are just a few of the Chicago-based investors backing parking app SpotHero in its Series A round today. Mike Gamson of LinkedIn is also joining Chicago investors Sam Yagan and Sam Guren on the board.
The numerous Chicagoans participating in the $4.5 million round is quite fitting: Chicago has been with the company every step of the way. Co-founders Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith are graduates of Illinois universities; in summer 2012, the company graduated from Techstars Chicago (at that time named Excelerate Labs); Pritzker Group and Lightbank are among its earliest backers.
“Just like GrubHub trumped their competition after launching in Chicago, SpotHero is on pace to become number one in the parking reservation marketplace after launching here too,” Lawrence said in a press statement.
The round will help to expand SpotHero’s parking supply and national presence. SpotHero has already expanded to six new markets outside of Chicago since its mid-2011 launch.
The 22-person team works from offices in Chicago, New York and San Diego (where co-founder Larry Kiss is based). SpotHero is actively expanding its employee base to meet national demand for its mobile app, which allows users to find and reserve parking spots in advance and compare rates and allows parking operators to fill unused spots.
“This funding milestone will help us continue to expand our relationships with parking operators so that we can all grow the parking industry together,” Lawrence said.