The investment is the first following the first closing of Mercia Fund Managers’ £45.1million EV Growth II Fund in December 2017. It will enable ParkCloud to further develop its highly successful parking reservation technology, build its management team and allow two of the original founders to exit.
Established in 2008, ParkCloud enables drivers to search, browse and pre-book parking spaces at over 2,000 car parks at airports, stations, ports and city centres worldwide. The company, which now runs its worldwide operations from Manchester, has over 3 million registered users.
ParkCloud works in partnership with car park operators, which gain exposure to its international client base, and with airports and airlines, who receive commission from passengers who book parking through its site or one of its white label products. A European leader in its field, ParkCloud operates in 42 countries and around 80% of its revenue is from overseas. In 2014 it won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its success in international trade.
The EV Growth II investment will give Mark Pegler, the Managing Director, a majority stake, allow co-founders Joseph Kennedy and Mark Pointon to step down, and, importantly, will provide further funding for growth. The company is planning to make a number of senior appointments in the coming months, and will further develop its e-commerce platform, and expand its partnerships with airports and airlines.
Mark Pegler, Managing Director of ParkCloud, said: “This year we celebrate ParkCloud’s 10th birthday, over which time we’ve established the ParkCloud brand and created a significant presence in markets worldwide. The start of our second decade will mark a step change for the company and having Mercia on board will help accelerate our growth. Our new structure supports our plans to explore new technologies, further enhancing the booking journey for our global network.”
Wayne Thomas, Jill Williams and Matt Molyneux from Mercia worked on the deal.
Wayne Thomas, who leads the EV Growth team, said: “ParkCloud is the leading independent aggregator of its type and stands out within the industry due to its size and international reach. The business is well-positioned within the expanding travel market and has the potential for much further growth. This investment will allow Mark to pursue his growth strategy. We look forward to working with him as he continues to build the business.”
Jonathan Diggines, Chair of the EV Growth II Investment Committee, who was instrumental in raising the EV Growth Funds, said: “ParkCloud is just the sort of innovative and ambitious SME that the EV Growth II Fund will be backing. Our experience of investing in regional SMEs over the years shows that they don’t just need access to capital: they also need patient, long-term support.”
Sophie Colloby of Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services provided financial due diligence for Mercia and management on the deal. Sophie said: “ParkCloud is an innovator in the car parking sector, this a particularly exciting time for Mark and his team as growth with UK car parks is really accelerating.”
Steven Lindsay at KJG Chartered Accountants provided fundraising advice for ParkCloud. Craig Scott at Hill Dickinson was legal adviser to Mercia, while Brabners advised the company.