Australian peer-to-peer car parking marketplace Spacer has acquired U.S.-based Roost, which provides the same services stateside from its San Francisco-based headquarters. It’s a move that lets Spacer make its entry into the U.S. market without having to establish its own office and start from scratch.
The deal will include rebranding all of Roost’s existing U.S. service offerings under the Spacer name, and Roost CEO Jonathan Gillon will also be departing the company to focus on building new companies as part of the deal. The plan is to expand Roost’s U.S. operations to SF, Chicago and Washington, D.C. as Spacer’s initial U.S. market entry, before expanding across the entire country.
Peer-to-peer on-demand parking rentals is a market with a lot of potential in urban areas where available spaces are at a premium. The cost of renting from legacy parking providers, and via spots made available by condo owners and others who have spaces but aren’t using the, are either cost-prohibitive, restrictive in terms of term of commitment required, or simply too difficult to find (many condo owners just post availability on internal notice boards, for instance).
This deal also carries over existing partnerships Roost has with Zipcar, Enterprise and Maven Drive for allocating spots. There’s potential, too, with this kind of marketplace in terms of providing key services and infrastructure in an autonomous driving future, when roving networks of self-driving vehicles will need to occasionally find places to stop and recharge, when in need of power or not in demand. A peer-to-peer parking marketplace might provide the perfect network to provide the basis for such needs.