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Parking Startups Are Cashing In on America’s Traffic Surge

The post-pandemic return to the road is creating new business opportunities.
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Illustration: Alice Monvaillier for Bloomberg Businessweek

During the depths of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic, cars sat idly in driveways, city streets were deserted, onetime commuters worked from bed—and it was much, much easier to find a parking spot.

All of which was devastating news for the small cadre of tech startups dedicated to helping people find and reserve places to park. For SpotHero Inc., which makes an app that helps drivers locate parking spaces, business was down 90% in April 2020 compared with February. The company laid off half its employees. “It was a really hard time for us,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Lawrence says.