Beijing Base Technology Co. Ltd., the parent company behind the parking space booking app U-Parking, today announced that it has raised an RMB12 million (US$1.7 million) Series A round led by Gobi Ventures for the app.

Originating in Beijing, the company aims to use the new funding to develop and expand its business to major cities in China such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

The service already covered “more than” 300 nodes (a parking lot with parking spots under its operation) in “over” 180 core business region in Beijing. The total parking spaces under its operation are 5,000 spaces and the service aims to secure more than 1,000 nodes in the future.

Available as a mobile app and a WeChat account, U-Parking targets both individual commuters and car-sharing drivers in China.

According to a Wall Street Journal coverage, the country is facing a serious issue of parking space availability.

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“While the rapid expansion of car ownership has created millions of jobs and helped drive the economy, with it has come congestion, pollution, and a shortage of at least 50 million parking spaces in a country where 180 million vehicles ply the roads,” the report stated.

In a press statement, U-Parking cited unstandardised rate and services as another problems that car owners in China are facing. As a solution, the app allows users to estimate parking costs ahead and ensure standardised service in every parking lot in operates in.

Gobi Ventures Managing Partner Michael Zhu dubbed U-Parking’s service as “an essential part” to the car-sharing ecosystem.

Founded in Beijing in 2014, U-Parking is currently run by a team of 20 people, and the startup plans to keep operations and management team lean during the upcoming expansion.

Beijing Base technology Co. Ltd. CEO Xu Ke cited Japanese parking space booking app Park24 as inspiration to U-Parking’s business model.

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