MobyPark raises €600k to make parking in big cities painless around the globe

May 15, 2014
Vote on Hacker News

mobypark

Parking in big cities is always a major headache for motorists. And regardless of which city or geography you’re in, this pain doesn’t seem to differ; finding parking is almost always time-consuming and overly expensive. Enter MobyPark.

Founded just under two years ago, MobyPark initially set as its objective to be a peer-to-peer platform in the model of airbnb to help drivers save time and money by renting unoccupied spots from individuals. Since then, they’ve developed a technology which enabled them to evolve their model to target B2C parking lots at hotels, companies, universities, hospitals, social housing, etc. With their new technology, people can rent parking spots by the hour and get immediately access to a garage/parking lot by receiving a code on their phone that they then enter on a customized keypads at garage/parking lot entrance and exit points. Motorists can now search real-time for parking online, make a reservation in the city center, close to airport, or other points of interest, and get up to 70% discounts on parking.

Since their launch, they’ve been steadily growing and expanding their footprint in Europe, which has culminated with their recent closing of a 600k euro round with private investors and a family office in the Netherlands and Belgium. In a mere 18 months, they now offer access to parking in 350 locations and have 5000 users in Paris alone.

In speaking with their founder Yoann Benhacoun, there have been some key milestones that has helped them achieve quite a bit of success in a fairly shot period of time. The one that probably had the most impact for them was their acceptance to Startupbootcamp’s NFC & Contactless dedicated accelerator program in Amsterdam last September. In addition to the 15k investment and 3 month coaching and mentoring that they received from the program, Benhacoun stressed that participation in the program played a big part in their securing meetings with top executives and CEOs of big companies such as Vodafone, Cisco, Q PArk, ABM Amro, and many others, laying the foundation for advanced discussions with big banks and an international hotel chain, and helping them secure an important deal with Rabobank’s MyOrder.

With this first investment, they will launch in Belgium within the next two months and then expand to other major cities in France, including Bordeaux, Maseille, Lyon, Lille, and Nice. They’re also exploring rolling-out in other European countries in the near-term and, from there, expanding beyond Europe.

Their team has also grown rapidly since their launch in 2012 and now counts 12 team members across Paris and Amersterdam who are squarely focused on MobyPark’s vision to give back time and quality of life to motorists by erasing the hassle of parking in big cities. They’ve certainly identified a persistent problem that has global reach and, encouragingly, are thinking about the much larger global opportunity sooner rather than later.