Smart parking startup SpotHero raises $4.5M in Series A funding

SpotHero, a Chicago startup trying to create a dynamic market for parking space pricing, has raised a $4.5 million Series A round with participation from Chicago Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Battery Ventures, OCA Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Lightbank, G2T3V,, Draper Associates and 500 Startups.

SpotHero is one of many companies in the parking reservation business, which lets drivers locate parking at their destinations and reserve spots, all from their smartphones. But SpotHero is trying to set itself apart by acting as a parking broker. Garages with a lot of empty spaces can offer up their excess inventory to SpotHero, which then cuts deals with individual drivers based on time and demand.

The company came out of Chicago’s Excelerate Labs (Now TechStars) and raised a $2.5 million seed round in 2012 led by Battery Ventures. Since then it’s expanded beyond Chicago and Milwaukee to New York City; Newark, N.J.; Boston; Baltimore and Washington, D.C.