BMW has long provided its customers with reliable automobiles to transport them from one destination to the next, but it hasn’t always been concerned with what happens once customers have reached Point B. That is, until today. BMW has acquired Parkmobile, an app that helps folks look for parking space in North America, which means that the German automaker will now be with you at just about every point of your driving journey. The move isn’t a complete surprise considering that BMW Group has maintained a minority stake in Parkmobile since 2014. Now the company has now absorbed the app and its more than 100 employees altogether.
BMW says this acquisition makes it the “leading international provider of digital parking solutions.” And given that Parkmobile is available in more than 300 cities in the U.S. and processed 50 million transactions in North America last year from more than 8 million registered users, BMW’s bold new claim seems substantiated.
“Up to 30 percent of city traffic is caused by people looking for parking spaces. The acquisition of Parkmobile … makes us the leading international provider of digital parking solutions and means we can better address the pain point of parking by scaling our offering for customers worldwide,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of the board of management for BMW AG.
Of course, you will not have to own a BMW in order to use Parkmobile’s services. Rather, the app allows drivers to find legal and free parking on the street, or off-street parking in garages and other infrastructure. And by making parking a more efficient process, BMW hopes that its new portfolio company can help reduce emissions in cities, as well as cut down on traffic. Parkmobile can also be used to find other transit-related services, aiding in BMW’s broader strategy to improve urban mobility.
“The BMW Group has always been on the forefront of disruptive mobility technology,” said Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile. “Having access to new capital as well as the BMW Group’s global network of partners and customers puts us in an excellent position to accelerate our growth and expand further beyond North America.”