Santa Monica-based Spot Parking (US) Inc. is adapting to the pandemic by repurposing its mapping technology to build a tool that helps business communities stay on top of ever-changing regulations.
Spot’s core business is to build digital parking management platforms for cities and universities that show real-time parking availability for different permit categories.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company launched ShopMalibu, an interactive map for the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, local business owners and consumers to share and update business information.
“It’s a one-stop shop for anyone that needs to know anything about businesses in the area,” said Mark Frumar, general manager of Spot.
The map is hosted on a mobile-friendly website. The Malibu Chamber provides updates of reopening conditions and regulations from Los Angeles County and the city of Malibu on a daily basis. The daily update, such as whether dine-in services are allowed, pops up on the page when a user clicks into the map.
Local stores and restaurants can also update their own information, such as the availability of outdoor dining or takeout, so consumers can see which services are available.
“If you’re showing a shopping mall, we can ensure that we have the exact location of every single store within that shopping mall, whereas previous mapping solutions haven’t been able to do that,” Frumar said.
The company charges the Malibu Chamber of Commerce an undisclosed monthly fee for hosting and maintaining the map. “We did obviously a special deal for Malibu because that’s one of our largest initial early adopters here in the U.S.,” Frumar said.
He added that similar services for incoming clients will be priced at $500 per month. Frumar said the company is in discussion with several city councils on the West Coast to roll out other local maps in the next two months.
The map can be used to inform users about upcoming events in the area in addition to Covid-related information, which makes it a useful tool for the local community as well as tourists in the post-pandemic era, according to Frumar.
“The map is beautifully designed and, in addition to showing the new hours, dining setups and Covid-19 safety practices, it even shows users trailheads, beaches, tasting rooms and vineyards,” Malibu Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and President Barbara Bruderlin said in a statement. “This is such a needed boost for Malibu’s small businesses, who have gone through so much over the past two years.”
Spot is the U.S. arm of Australia-based Spot Parking Pty. Ltd., which has raised about $1 million in total funding, according to Frumar.
“We have the money to weather Covid, and we have the money to perform the development that we need to right now. We will be seeking investment when we’re seeking to aggressively expand our U.S. footprint,” Frumar said.