Vade Raises $4.3M Seed Round Led By Upfront Ventures
The curb is an invaluable and finite resource at the very core of how cities function. Beyond providing access downtown with on-street parking, a city's curbs facilitate trillions of dollars of economic activity across a wide variety of services and mobility options. Despite its critical and evolving role, the way cities allocate curb space remains largely unchanged with over 90% dedicated to traditional consumer parking.
As delivery, rideshare, and micro-mobility continue to grow, there are more users competing for the same supply of curb space. Commercial vehicles already park at the curb billions of times every year, and are expected to overtake normal parking activity by 2030. The mismatch between supply and demand creates a lot of inefficiency, which has led to society-wide problems like unnecessary congestion, vehicle emissions, and public safety issues.
The way the curb is used and managed also comes with significant financial implications. Parking was designed for citizens, and the legacy parking tools like meters and hand-written tickets are incompatible with the today's landscape. Even if cities had the right tools, the vast majority would need to change their municipal code to allow them to charge an Uber like they charge citizens. Monetizing commercial parking activity would generate billions, which would enable cities to subsidize consumer parking with revenue from commercial parking instead of vice versa.
We started Vade to help cities manage the curb by measuring how it's used. We spent the last four years developing fully wireless cameras and computer vision that can detect parking activity in real-time. In 2021, we launched the first end-to-end solution for cities to measure and manage curb space with a subscription model that includes the hardware, installation, maintenance, real-time data, historical analytics, and more. Since launching, we've deployed projects with innovative cities like Sarasota, Lexington, and Austin, with many more in the pipeline.
Our initial focus is providing cities with utilization analytics so they can better understand demand for curb space in their city. We help cities discover when and where curb space is used, what types of vehicles are using it, and how long they use it for. By combining those data points, we work with cities to breakdown parking activity by use case, which then informs how they should re-allocate the supply of loading zones, rideshare zones, curbside pick-up/drop-off, and of course regular parking spots.
We couldn't be more excited to work with Upfront Ventures and welcome Mark Suster onto our board of directors. Mark's conviction in the broader theme of applying computer vision to solve real-world problems resonates deeply with our mission, and we're certain he will help us realize Vade's potential for years to come.
The $4.3M in funding enables us to build out the core product, expand our customer success team, and publish case studies that leverage our tools with new policies to drive outcomes. We believe that by 2030, parking spots will be replaced by flexible curbs that adapt to serve different users at different times depending on demand. We are building infrastructure to maximize the productivity curb space and enable more vibrant and dynamic cities.
Come help us connect the curb, we're hiring! Reach out to email@example.com or visit our career page.