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Parking software startup Meter Feeder raised $2.6M in a seed round extension

Cofounder and CEO Jim Gibbs told Technical.ly he plans to 10x the startup's revenue this year.

Meter Feeder app. (Courtesy photo)
One of Pittsburgh’s best-known startups just put a couple million in its meter.

Meter Feeder, a parking payment software startup, announced that it had raised $2.6 million in a seed round extension. It’s the latest public funding update from the company since cofounder and CEO Jim Gibbs told Technical.ly last summer that the startup raised over $1 million across seed and pre-seed rounds.

This new extension was led by Trucks Venture Capital, a San Francisco-based firm focused on investments in companies advancing the future of transportation. Other supporters of Meter Feeder’s latest round included previous investor Precursor Ventures along with a few new VC firms and angel investors. While the $2.6 million is closed, Gibbs said there’s a chance for an increase in that number, pending a few other interested investors.

The news comes after several wins for Meter Feeder, which fully launched its Pittsburgh presence last August, including Gibbs’ recognition as one of 50 recipients of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Now, the startup offers its parking payment app in 35 locations, and has partnered with transportation fleet companies to ensure cars within those firms pay for parking as well. All of that and more contributed to a growth that pushed Gibbs to look for new funding.

“In the beginning part of this year, we were growing somewhere just north of 8% week over week,” Gibbs told Technical.ly this week. “It was one of those things where the mantra was ‘Keep the wheels on the bus.’ And then I would go out and try to raise money.”

Though he started out by looking for local funding, Gibbs said he faced the same struggles many other fast-growing startups have in getting Pittsburgh VC firms to invest.

“The VCs [I was talking to] in Silicon Valley were essentially saying like, ‘Well, we’re rooting for Pittsburgh, but they’re probably going to find some way to fumble the bag,'” he said. “Which they did.” Gibbs, for his part, has been extremely open on social media and at conferences he’s attended about the challenges of raising money in Pittsburgh.

Meter Feeder’s Jim Gibbs. (Photo via Twitter)

Despite struggling to attract some of the top local firms for this round, Gibbs did share that Innovation Works and Mountain State Capital, which has offices in Morgantown and Pittsburgh, have both invested in Meter Feeder in the past. This seed extension round also included support from several locally based Black angel investors, he added.

“During February, I went and I found a bunch of local Black angels, people in Pittsburgh, who came together on an SPV we were able to raise $100,000,” he said. “And that’s what gave us our initial push.”

In addition to supporting the rapid growth Gibbs mentioned, the new seed round extension will go toward increasing Meter Feeder’s employee count from nine to 15 people. Some of that hiring will be to meet business development and sales needs for the startup, and will likely come from outside of Pittsburgh. But the technical talent will likely be locally based, simply because that’s where the team’s current network is, Gibbs said.

He also plans to use the new funding to focus on “future-proofing” Meter Feeder’s software product and payment platform. Pittsburgh relies heavily on parking payments and tax for city revenue, but that dried up during the pandemic when fewer people were coming to town or going out. But just because average citizens weren’t occupying the curbs in the city as much doesn’t mean those spots were going unused. So Gibbs and his team are looking to find ways of ensuring anyone who’s using the curb is paying for it.

“The focus is to make sure that even if there is another global pandemic — God forbid — the cities would be able to maintain revenue,” he said.

Gibbs and his team have big plans for Meter Feeder’s revenue as well. The company is currently testing out some new features it hopes to deploy later this year, and regulating its financial streams with the new funding. If that all continues to go well, “we’re looking to 10x our revenue this year,” he said. “And that’s on the low end.”

Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Meter Feeder

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