Much as we would like to avoid it, driving in the city, whether you live there or are just visiting, can be a pain and it is largely due to the difficulty in finding the perfect parking space. For those who live in London, AppyParking might be the first place that you will want to look to avoid the pain.
What immediately strikes me, upon opening up the startup’s website, is that I do not really need to do anything in order to get started. I am immediately presented with a map of available spaces for the current time (or a particular date and time-period (up to 24 hours)) and a host of filters, which can be used to find a suitable spot. Spots can be filtered down by “paid”/”free”, “electric”, “motorcycle-friendly”, or “disabled” and users can find car parks, as well as avoid “congestion charges”, “red routes”, and “controlled parking zones”.
What I find appealing is the service does not merely indicate which spots are currently available, but provides essentially as much information as you would like to know about it, including details on parking for major upcoming events and bank holidays, fees, times that it is controlled, and how it looks (through Google StreetView). Those who opt for the PRO version of the service (pricing plans available upon enquiry) can also check out recent spaces that they have used or set favorites. If there is one downside to the platform, it is that it is currently only available in London.
The startup has opted to monetize the platform in a few ways, including licensing on and off-street parking data to car companies, offering daily gas prices via in-app purchase, providing real-time availability information to large parking-lot operators, and facilitating cashless, in-app parking payments.
AppyParking has been around for a few years now, launching in 2013, and currently claims more than 125,000 downloads. In terms of funding, the startup tells me that they have a number of undisclosed private investors, as well as backers like Aviva Ventures and Premier Parking, who have joined to offer more than 1 million pounds in seed funding. They are somewhat reluctant to reveal their plans, other than to say that they are looking to continue to develop their service and to expand globally by 2017.