As a part of the “sharing economy”, we have become used to helping strangers by driving them around, renting out rooms to them, performing tasks that they may need fulfilled, and more. Although these concepts have only recently gained widespread popularity, British startup JustPark has actually been allowing people to rent out their parking spaces since 2006, operating under the name “ParkatmyHouse”.
The company has decided that it is time for a change in focus, however, and, along with a change in the name of the business, have begun to branch out into the sphere of B2B by partnering up with car parks, churches, hotels, and other businesses to provide them with a way to generate revenue by renting out their empty parking spaces. JustPark generates revenue by charging a service fee on each space rented, which typically comes out to 25% of the price at which the spot is listed.
What is interesting about this pivot is that the company has decided to turn to the public for further funding. As opposed to partnering with professional investors, they are currently running a campaign on CrowdCube, which allows them to offer shares in the company in exchange for funding. The company set a goal of raising 1 million British pounds, but they have already soared past that, taking in just under 2 million pounds from 2,592 investors in just a few days. There is plenty of time left for those who may be interested in grabbing a piece of the company, as there are still 41 days left in the campaign. The company reports that it will be valued at 20 million pounds for the purpose of this campaign. JustPark has previously raised funding from professional investors recently, taking undisclosed investment from BMW i Ventures in 2011 and from Index Ventures just last year. JustPark reports that they generated 3.7 million pounds in revenue last year.
Despite having pulled in funding from professional investors, the company has opted for this latest crowdfunding campaign as a way of connecting with users and in an aim to encourage users to evangelize for the platform.
The platform developed by JustPark has proven to be quite popular, attracting more than 500,000 users. They are hardly satisfied however and say that they are planning to increase marketing expenditures and staff, as well as branch out to foreign cities. They are already planning to build upon the partnership with BMW that they announced in August 2014, which brought the platform in-car, by launching the service through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.