Did you know that a whopping 30% of all real estate in American cities is dedicated to parking? That adds up to 63 million paid parking spaces in the US alone!
Now, think about the last time you had a delightful parking experience. Instead, your mind probably goes to circling to find a spot, a broken gate, or a faulty credit card machine reader.
If you’re an owner of a parking garage or lot, you likely feel that the tools available to manage your valuable assets are stuck in the last century. Slippage and poor utilization? The norm. Analytics? Nonexistent. Constant overhead and admin costs that add up? Yup. The list goes on.
AirGarage launched publicly just 2 years ago and is already changing the parking industry game.
How does it work?
AirGarage is a “full-stack parking operator”—a marketplace with parking lot owners on one side and drivers on the other. For owners, AirGarage has created tools to help automate the operation of parking lots and parking garages, including payment collection, camera-based enforcement, and advertising across parking apps. They also provide advanced analytics that help owners understand things like occupancy and revenue trends over time. For consumers, the AirGarage app helps you find the best spot to park.
Since launching in 2019, AirGarage has quickly grown to manage over 150 parking lots and garages across over 30 states, representing 12x year-over-year growth for the company.
Why does this matter?
Today, AirGarage increases revenue for lot owners while lowering their overhead/ops. And customers get a slick parking experience—no more broken gates and decades-old machines.
In the long term though, AirGarage is building towards an exciting future in which real estate is digitized and analyzed in real-time, making it easier to utilize and seamlessly transition from one use case to another—for cloud kitchens, micro-warehouses, autonomous vehicle fleets, or anything else future entrepreneurs want to build on top of their platforms in the physical world.
Coming back strong
It turns out the AirGarage story is one of tenacity, grit, and creativity: After feeling the need for affordable parking as students in ASU, Jonathon and his co-founders Chelsea and Scott quickly went to work. They went door to door in the Arizona heat knocking on strangers’ doors and asking them to rent a spot in their driveway (12 people did!). Soon after, they upgraded from driveways to entire parking lots, signing up churches, hotels, and businesses that had never sold parking before. (They also personally managed the lots, often in 115 degree heat.)
The team was off to the races…until they ran into a pandemic. Like multiple other businesses, they faced severe challenges: In a “remote-first” environment, people weren’t driving nor parking nearly as much. Revenue dropped by over 90%.
But, instead of despairing, the team kept experimenting. After a fortuitous conversation with a parking lot owner desperate for occupancy, the team saw the opportunity to think bigger and has since been building out AirGarage as a full-stack solution for owners and drivers alike.
A new kind of marketplace
At a16z, we have been lucky to work with (and study!) some of the most well known marketplaces. For example, Jeff Jordan currently sits on the boards of Airbnb and Pinterest, while Connie Chan serves on Whatnot’s.
AirGarage is a new kind of marketplace, with the vision of using technology and data to transform the management and utilization of physical real estate itself. I’m thrilled to be leading AirGarage’s Series A funding round and join the board.