In most cities, street parking occupies valuable urban space and is often difficult to find. But there is an easy and underutilised off-street parking alternative around the corner. Amsterdam-based ParkBee offers a smart platform for stress-free off-street parking, taking cars off the streets and giving space back to the city.
The digital car parking platform announced on Tuesday that it has raised €30M in a fresh round of funding from former Booking.com CEO Kees Koolen’s Koolen Industries and a number of other tech entrepreneurs and investors.
“A scale-up with a mission”
Founded in 2013 by Jian Jiang and Tom Buchmann, ParkBee is on a mission to improve the way car parking operates in Europe’s increasingly dense and populated cities. The company’s app allows drivers to locate and reserve available spaces in off-street car parks and be directed to those spaces through the ParkBee app and affiliates such as Google Maps.
This way, the platform helps cities and property owners to better utilise their urban spaces. With more than 400 affiliated parking locations in four countries and many collaborations with parking apps and parking providers, ParkBee reaches millions of users and provides them with a parking space.
Funds to expand in Europe and accelerate EV adoption
Werner Paul Boerma, CEO of Parkbee, says, “With this investment, we can continue the plans for expansion in Europe, but it also offers opportunities to accelerate the transition of the fleet to EV via smart and wider charging options in the parking garages. We are delighted that a renowned and experienced entrepreneur like Kees Koolen is joining ParkBee as an investor.”
Koolen Industries’ CEO Kees Koolen adds, “The addition of ParkBee to our portfolio offers great opportunities to further facilitate the transition to EVs in cities by providing smart charging solutions to EV drivers, next to helping people park their cars in a safe and easy manner across cities in Europe. So, our ambition “Clean Energy for Everyone” also encompasses clean mobility and clean air for everyone.”
About the investor
Koolen Industries’ mission is to make clean energy and clean mobility the new normal for everyone. The firm invests in cleantech companies and enables its group companies to perform and co-create. By working together in the group and with outside partners, Koolen Industries claims to deliver integral turn-key clean energy and mobility solutions to customers through a one-stop-shop concept.
Speaking on the investment, Kees Koolen says, “ParkBee has an attractive and highly scalable business model. With its strong partners on both demand and supply, ParkBee is primed for rapid expansion throughout Europe. The transition to Full Electric mobility is of key importance to the transition to clean energy in general, and also to the quality of people’s lives in our cities through reduction of noise and air pollution. With our group companies We Drive Solar, Floading, BrightBlu, and Deftpower, Koolen Industries is able to deliver the complete range of smart EV charging solutions required for further acceleration of EV adoption.”
Kees Koolen is a Dutch businessman and investor. He was the COO, CEO, and chairman of Booking.com from 2002 to 2014. In 2005, Booking.com was acquired by a US-based travel booking company called Priceline Group – later changed its name to Booking Holdings Inc. in 2018.
Koolen was also an early Uber investor and helped Uber roll out internationally. He was a founding partner at EQT Ventures, and now he is active in driving the transition towards clean energy with his clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries.