Xtraspots app that connects drivers with parking spots has Bronx roots

‘Xtraspots’ app allows users to rent out unused parking spaces, gives drivers more parking options

By Emily Swanson, Bronx Times

If you’re lucky enough to own a Bronx home or small business with a driveway, you could be making extra money in your sleep.

A new app called Xtraspots, founded by a Bronx native and now launching in the borough, allows property owners to rent out their driveway or other parking spaces by the hour. The app will soon expand from the Bronx to drivers and hosts throughout New York City.

The Bronx may not be the first area that comes to mind in terms of tech startups — but Xtraspots co-founder Charles Sepulveda, a native of Throggs Neck, told the Bronx Times he relishes the idea of “starting a tech company, going against all odds and bringing it from the Bronx forward.”

The trend of using technology to identify underutilized space with by-the-hour rentals seems to be taking off in the Bronx. The app Catch Corner by Sports Illustrated uses a similar concept whereby users book and pay for tennis and pickleball slots that would have otherwise gone unused at the South Bronx’s Stadium Tennis Center and other facilities.

With Xtraspots, users list their available parking spot times and decide on a rate. Drivers can then reserve the spot on the app instead of circling blocks in vain — a waste of time and gas that also takes an environmental toll.  

The app aims to give hosts flexibility and a way to earn “passive income” with little effort or commitment.

“Since it’s hourly, you set the times,” said Sepulveda, who said his knowledge of the Bronx helped inform the business concept. He now lives in Connecticut.

The company gets a cut of each rental fee in a revenue-share model similar to that used by Door Dash and Uber Eats, Sepulveda said.

The company received a significant boost from the Bronx-based nonprofit Oyate Group as it took root as a business in 2022, went through development and intensive security checks and went live in the Bronx on Feb. 9.

The two groups came together under Oyate’s Community Capital program, which invests up to $50,000 in small businesses and helps them get off to a strong start with 10 weeks of training and mentoring.

It only made sense for the local nonprofit to help a tech startup launch in the Bronx, said Tomas Ramos, Oyate Group founder and CEO — especially since tech innovation is often assumed to be only happening in Manhattan.

By partnering with Xtraspots and helping Bronxites earn extra money, “This is full circle,” said Ramos.

The feeling is mutual for Sepulveda, who said that the partnership with Oyate “opens up a platform for us to be successful.” With the help of Oyate Group’s office space, community connections and feedback, “We’re able to tap into that network,” he said.

Oyate Group is now on the board of directors for Xtraspots, so both groups collaborate on decision making and have a stake in the future of the company.

“We’re able to really effectively understand how Xtraspots is going to be beneficial for our overall community,” said Ramos.

The next step for Xtraspots, Sepulveda said, will be adding electric vehicle charging stations to the app — allowing more New Yorkers to help each other out while utilizing resources more effectively.

The app is now available for download on the Apple Store. An Android version is expected soon.