A parking app on steroids has attracted a fresh $41 million from investors and may also hold proptech promise for operators of and investors in urban office, retail, and other commercial properties.
Los Angeles-based Metropolis is the brainchild of Alex Israel, who created the new company in 2017 after selling ParkMe in 2015, according to TechCrunch, and has now raised more than $60 million for this proptech venture now going live.
Here's how it describes itself: "Metropolis turns traditional parking facilities into sophisticated, value-add amenities for its real estate partners. Asset owners are able to offer modern parking solutions and multi-modal mobility options to tenants and building visitors, and delight customers with Metropolis' consumer-centric app."
Serving end users and operators alike
Using AI, machine learning, and computerized cameras, the service recognizes vehicles that enter and exit facilities. The app features such consumer-facing options as valet coordination, open space locators, pickup and return, and, of course, payment by app. Other services to come could include cleaning, charging, and storage.
In return, CRE operators will get analytics about use of their space, as well as more revenue and less expenses enhanced by dynamic pricing and yield optimization, the company said.
"We become the integrator, [and] we also in some cases become the direct service provider," Israel told TechCrunch.
Israel said his company already is managing 10,000 parking spaces for CRE owners and expects more to jump aboard after the launch, with expectations that it will be adopted at 600 locations by the end of the year, including in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The Millionacres bottom line
"[Big property owners] are not thinking about the infrastructure requirements that allow for the seamless access to these facilities," Israel said. His service does, he said, enabling owners to get more value from their properties.
The TechCrunch article notes that Metropolis is not without competition, with BMW (OTCMKTS: BMWYY)-owned ParkMobile and Florida-based REEF Technology also in the fray. The latter, in fact, just got a $700 million investment into its business, which has gone well beyond simply parking into adding facilities like ghost kitchens, health clinics, and more to parking properties, according to TechCrunch.
Being proptech, these companies offer distinctly more high-tech and involved solutions than simpler ideas -- like the five ideas listed in this article -- but each of these businesses are taking a different approach to helping CRE operators make the most of what they have.
"Metropolis seeks to maximize financial alignment with institutional real estate partners by implementing asset-light software solutions and revenue share arrangements that aim to optimize net operating income," that company says.
Every little bit helps.