“I do not need a drill. I need a hole in the wall“. That’s the idea behind the growth of sharing-economy companies. While Uber and Airbnb are the ‘crown jewels’ of sharing economy, there are numerous smaller and fast-growing startups successfully matching demand and supply in other industries. Sharemypark, a Belgian app used to book private parking spaces having 10,000+ users was acquired by Parkpnp, an Irish startup operating in the same niche.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will result in Sharemypark co-founders William Detry and Murat Turkeli joining Parkpnp’s team. It appears the Belgian startup’s founders didn’t want to operate their company on razor-thin margins, as would have been the result had Sharemypark opted to stay independent and compete with the Irish Parkpnp.
Online parking apps: A growing niche
Frustrations of parking in a busy city are well-known to all of us. You keep the spare change and you keep driving in circles, that’s how you find a coveted spot in densely populated neighborhoods. To alleviate the parking problem and to grab a bigger market share in the Netherlands parking industry, Parkpnp offered multimillion-euro franchise agreement in the Dutch market last year.
The acquisition of Sharemypark is another step by Parkpnp in becoming a dominant player in mainland Europe’s parking industry. The ambitions of dominating the European market is evident from the statements of Parkpnp’s CEO released after announcing the acquisition.
“Belgian market will give his company “the perfect launchpad to become the European market leader by 2020,″ said Garret Flower, CEO Parkpnp.
“The company accelerates the growth of digital parking payments in Belgium through an increased focus on the commercial parking market,” noted Sharemypark.
Parkpnp: 20,000 parking spaces across Europe
As of now, Parkpnp has 20,000 parking spaces across Europe on its platform and serves more than 100,000 users. Surprisingly, the US appears to be behind Europe in adopting latest parking technologies. Or we may say that ‘need-based’ innovation in parking technologies has made Europe an early adopter of the technology as “parking has historically been more of a challenge in Europe where cities are generally more densely populated“, says Laurens Eckelboom, Executive Vice President of Parkmobile.
Hopefully, the merged company will help reduce dependence on metered on-street and commercial parking lots, thus reducing the typical parking price.
Editor’s note on competitors: the French-Dutch startup Mobypark last year worked together with RAI Amsterdam, the conference-center with plenty of parking space. The Dutch-Irish startup Parkyourcar seized operations end of 2016 after it wasn’t able to find a sustainable business model.