Start-up of the week: Parkpnp

26 Sep 2016

Parkpnp founder and CEO Garret Flower

Our start-up of the week is Parkpnp, a new online parking marketplace that could be defined as the Airbnb for parking.

“Parkpnp is an online parking marketplace app that allows users to generate additional revenue by renting their unused or underutilised parking space,” explained founder Garret Flower who, incidentally, happens to be the co-founder of the popular Krüst Bakery on George’s Street, Dublin.

“Whether it’s your private driveway or a commercial parking space, it’s free and takes five minutes to list your space or spaces. You can list your space hourly, daily, weekly or monthly on our website platform and start earning money, with ‘listers’ making between €50 and €350 per calendar month.

‘Once we are the market leader in Ireland, we are growing internationally to cities in Europe, Asia and the US, where our solution can turn heavily congested cities into smart cities as parking is a global issue’

“Listers have full control and can confirm or reject requests for their parking space at any time. And, for those looking for parking, say goodbye to driving in circles and carrying change. With Parkpnp you can pre-book secure parking spaces from our app or website,” Flower said.

The market

Flower said that Parkpnp is starting with hotspots in Dublin – city centre commercial spaces, and private driveways around stadiums and conference centres, and by the airport.

“That said, people are already listing in Cork and Galway and even internationally across Europe. Once we are the market leader in Ireland, we are growing internationally to cities in Europe, Asia and the US where our solution can turn heavily congested cities into smart cities as parking is a global issue.”

The team

Start-up of the week: Parkpnp

Parkpnp founder and CEO Garret Flower

Originally from Longford, Flower spent the last five years building Krüst Bakery, distributing specialty baked goods nationwide and exporting to the UK and Canada.

“My passion for incorporating tech into the bakery business and a very real need around parking has driven me to build Parkpnp – a full technology company.

“Daniel Paul is our CTO and has worked with some of the biggest start-ups out of Ireland in building their tech infrastructure.

“Daniel Ramamoorthy is our CMO, a serial entrepreneur, investor and lecturer with a network to help grow our business.”

The technology

Flower said he sparked on the idea when he bought his first car last year and while driving around Ranelagh, he could not find a parking space. The very app he needed hadn’t been created yet.

“Like with any good technology, it’s intuitive. The app opens up to a map of your location with pointers to all available parking spaces. One click on the pointer gives you information about the space and the second click has it booked. It’s literally that simple.

“If you are listing a space, our website is the best way to upload photos and describe the space – a process that doesn’t take more than five minutes. Our platform then matches those looking for space with those looking to rent their space. We also have an extremely talented tech team onboard, which makes life easier.”

Flower said the goal is to be the number one parking solution worldwide.

“We are a powerful ally to cities looking for smart parking technology. We are a must-have app for those with a car who want to save time and money in locating space. And, we are a no-brainer source of revenue for private homeowners and commercial parking operators offering additional hardware solutions to increase revenue.”

From the idea’s inception, Flower has built a strong foundation with a team of 13 people listing spaces and building out the technology.

Parkpnp has attracted the support of one of Ireland’s leading investors, Sean Melly, as well as backing from Enterprise Ireland as a high-potential start-up.

“Right now we are closing our round looking for a final €100,000 having already secured the remaining €400,000.”

Curves in the road

Flower points out that the start-up journey is always riddled with challenges, “but it’s the need to overcome that is such a strong motivator and fuel to what we do”.

“The main challenge is the massive learning curve in everything from fundraising to hardware installation to legal documents to application writing to team management to … the list goes on and on.”

Flower believes Ireland is the best place to pilot and prove Parkpnp.

“The start-up scene is a very welcoming and inclusive community who are happy to help and push us forward. Although fundraising is difficult here, we are confident this is a great investment for the savvy investors.”

His advice to fellow starters: “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and get mentors. The start-up journey is lonely so the more you build your network, the better.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years