South African startup ParkUpp, a marketplace that connects owners of parking spaces with companies and individuals who need parking, has been acquired by real estate investment company Docklands Ventures.
Initially launched in 2016 with the goal of improving the parking experience for shopping centres, ParkUpp pivoted in 2018 after realising the market was too small and launched with its new model in 2019.
It allows property owners to list their parking spaces on the platform for free, with users able to book spaces for short or long periods, pay via the site, and get access to the space.
The startup’s solution is used by listed property funds across the country, including shopping centres, private parking facilities, and co-working spaces. In 2021, the company announced its new brand Troob, an Airbnb-like platform for art galleries, photo studios and film sets set to launch in New York in early 2022.
ParkUpp has now sold its parking business, website, brand and data to South African real estate firm Docklands Ventures, owned by ex-JLL chairman for Sub-Saharan Africa Mark Bradford.
“This is my first exit as an entrepreneur. I couldn’t be more proud to hand it over to an experienced individual like Mark who not only brings experience but his vast network too. I believe ParkUpp is in safe hands and will continue to prosper and grow,” said Palesa Moloi, CEO of ParkUpp.
Bradford said ParkUpp was a great addition to his portfolio of companies, and that he planned to use the synergies across them all to create a powerful ecosystem of prop-tech ventures in South Africa.
“ParkUpp is an innovative market leader. Docklands is excited to continue the legacy and grow the brand. I wish Palesa and team the best with Troob as they venture to New York to start a new chapter,” he said.