What is the idea?
This startup idea is to integrate parking locations across the city and help the drivers in finding and booking the parking spots through a mobile application. The application will provide real-time parking availability for gated open and non-gated parking slots in the city. This would help the users in planning their itinerary and they can even pre-book their parking spot and slot.
Market Size & Opportunity
According to grandviewresearch.com, the global smart parking market size was valued at USD 81.3 million in 2015. An increasing number of vehicles across the globe is adding to the parking woes. There is an increasing need of a smart system to address the problem and make our parking system efficient.
The report also mentions that the off-street parking site segment accounts for over 73% of the overall market share in 2015 and is predicted to continue its dominance over the coming years.
As more and more cars are coming on the road, parking is coming up as one of the biggest traffic problems around the world. Even the big companies like Google have started an initiative to solve this problem. Google has come up with a new feature in Google Maps that will help you in finding a parking slot or give you an alert if nothing is available at that point of time.
SpotHero, a Chicago-based startup is the largest parking reservation service provider in the US with the network of garages, parking lots, and valets. It enables drivers with easy, affordable parking in major cities across the US.
Pain Point & Target Audience
The target audience for the startup is the car drivers who are looking for short time parking spots in cities.
Parking their car is one of the biggest pain points for the drivers, and it adds to their frustration as they end up driving from one parking location to another crawling through the city traffic searching for a spot. In the absence of any alternative, they end up parking their car far off from their destination and have to either walk or take a short bus or taxi ride.
The application will make it easier for the drivers to find and pre-book their slots at the parking locations. The application will also save the frustration of the drivers who at times out of urgency park their cars on the street itself, which further adds to the traffic in the locality. With the use of the application, the business professionals will not have to keep an extra time just for parking their car between the meetings and will plan theirs in a much better way.
To generate the supply of the parking spots, the startup would aggregate the unused parking spots in restaurants, pubs, event locations, and other areas which are usually empty during the day times. Along with creating the supply for parking locations in the city, it will also help in generating some revenue for the owners.
The startup will work on marketplace/aggregator model. Since most of the users will make the parking booking on-the-go and location based, it wise to go with a mobile-only approach. The startup needs to develop both Android and IOS application.
The startup needs to aggregate the parking spots based on location within the city, which can be further filtered by price and hours permitted. The startup should update the parking availability in the real time to avoid inconvenience and last minute disappointment. It also needs to integrate the payment through the application, so that it can control the bookings made through it and also can provide the functionality of pre-booking a parking slot.
Way to market
The startup needs to focus and make the business scale from city to city in the country of launch. There are already a few similar startups in US and Europe markets, and it may be a good plan to launch the start-up in one of the developing Asian countries where traffic and parking are on of their biggest problems. India or Indonesia could be the best candidates for the launch, owing to a large number of self-driven cars in the countries.
The startup should start with their focus on aggregating the gated parking locations around the city, as it will be easier to track the parking spots available in the real time without installing any external tracking device. To generate the demand, the startup can look for corporate tie-ups and provide some monthly parking subscription to their employees at a better cost.
The startup should spend first two months in developing a sleek mobile application on Android and IOS platforms. Parallelly, it should start aggregating the parking locations in the city. The startup should target to aggregate the capacity of at least 10,000 parking spots across of 2 cities of launch over six months.
The next milestone will be around the number of transactions through the platform. For which, the startup needs to reach and engage the office-goers in the city actively. Startup should target to collaborate with the leading employers in the city to get access to mass users.
Investment Needed For Prototype
Pitch for raising upto $100k to develop the prototype and to aggregate the parking places in the city of launch. The startup can approach any Real Estate accelerator, or aggregator model focused accelerator programs. Apart from developing the IOS and Android applications, bulk of the money should be spent on operational costs for aggregating as many parking places on its platform.
In order to keep your development cost under check, its important to have couple of application developers in your founding team. You would also need to have a co-founder with experience in Asset Management for Commercial Real Estate which will help him/her to tap into the parking places in some of the key commercial properties.
Investors / Expert Take
Parking is a genuine problem in CBD for most of the big cities, and the problem is even more in developing countries as the public transport is not that well developed. Like any other aggregation based businesses, startup in the sector need to be able to demonstrate its ability to grow the community of its users. The startup can further leverage the judicious use of IOT to make the system even more connected and efficient.
This segment provides maximum opportunity in the next 10-15 years after which we will start seeing innovation in public transportation and autonomous cars reducing the parking demand. So the startup should be fast enough in execution to reap the benefits and then be prepared to pivot its model to suit the future requirements. In case you are looking at scaling or launching this venture, you can apply for our virtual acceleration program Excelrate on the Yostartups.com website; it will help you in streamlining and structuring your startup idea. We have limited scholarships and discount packs for deserving startups, depending on the strength of your application, you may qualify for a discount.