A Trip Down Memory Lane: 10 Years of SpotHero

Ten years ago, SpotHero’s founders were living in Chicago racking up thousands of dollars in parking tickets. They loved to drive but hated to park. They figured they weren’t the only people struggling with chronic parking problems, so they decided to find a better solution – SpotHero.

Fast forward a decade and SpotHero is the digital parking leader and only independent off-street parking marketplace in North America. We’ve parked tens of millions of cars and offer 7,500 locations across 300 cities in the U.S. and Canada. 

Let’s take a look at the major milestones between our founders’ parking ticket piles back in 2011 and today. These moments, coupled with the individual parking wins our drivers experience daily, make SpotHero the world-class app we know and love today.

2011: SpotHero launches our website and secures our first parking reservation

These two small but mighty milestones kicked off our journey as a digital parking marketplace. Prior to SpotHero, parking was almost exclusively reserved and paid for in-person with cash.

2012: SpotHero launches an iOS app

In the years to follow, our drivers using Apple devices would see many more offerings specifically for them – including 2020’s Apple CarPlay launch!

2013: SpotHero’s first engineer and Customer Hero join the team

SpotHero grows in many ways. In 2013, SpotHero’s first engineer and Customer Hero join the team. These two positions are at the heart of our company today. Our engineers work tirelessly to create a user-friendly, intuitive product for drivers and parking operators alike. Customer Heroes ensure our drivers have the best experience possible when parking with SpotHero. They answer phone calls, social media messages and communicate drivers’ feedback to the broader company.

2013 is also the year SpotHero begins offering Airport Parking. Today, travelers can reserve SpotHero parking at 67 airports in North America. 

2014: Series A Financing

We raise our Series A – the first, key fundraising round for any growing startup. SpotHero is still a startup today and plays an active role in the Chicago tech startup scene. 

2015: One Million Reservations

SpotHero hits the one-millionth parking reservation milestone. Six years later, we’ve parked over 35 million cars!

2016: Rebranding

We rebrand to the look our drivers and operator partners are familiar with today. SpotHero’s branding is managed by our Marketing Team. The Marketing Team works closely with our Product Team to ensure our brand resonates with drivers. The Product Team also supports SpotHero’s brand inclusivity efforts, such as color accessibility. 

2017: Parking Panda Acquisition

SpotHero grows by 47 new cities through our acquisition of Parking Panda. The Parking Panda acquisition also led to hundreds of strategic partnerships. These include many of our partnerships with major sports leagues, major convention centers, sports arenas, theaters, and municipalities.

2018: Monthly Parking is offered for the first time

In 2018, drivers are first able to use the app to secure a monthly parking reservation. Monthly was one of the first products we made available to our drivers and this made it even easier to secure a spot. Monthly parking is a helpful offering for drivers looking for a consistent spot near their home, apartment, or other frequented place. 

2019: Canada Expansion

SpotHero expands to Canada by partnering with Toronto Pearson International Airport. The next year we’d double down on our growth in the region by acquiring Canada-based Rover Parking.  Our inventory and team are growing in Canada – learn more about open Canada roles here

2020: Touchless Parking

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SpotHero develops a touchless parking solution. SpotHero always offered touch-free payment in-app, but the new development made redemption touchless. 

2021: Android Auto

SpotHero launches an in-dash parking reservation app for drivers on Android Auto

This is the latest of several Google integrations, including Google Pay and Google Assistant, and follows the Apple CarPlay app launch at the end of 2020.

We are thankful for our drivers and operator partners that have been along for the ride over the past decade. As we move onto the road ahead, we look forward to continuing to innovate, drive growth, and always give drivers the right of way. Onward to the next 10 years!