Israeli start-up company Parko, the app developer that helps users find parking, announced the completion of its first financing round of $500,000. The current financing round was led by Jon Medved’s hybrid VC-Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, which mobilizes investments for promising Israeli ventures using a crowdfunding method.
The Parko app, available for iPhone and Android users, was designed for all drivers that occasionally experience difficulties in finding parking. Contrary to popular belief, the parking problem is not only relevant to the Tel Aviv drivers community, but also to many other parts of the country, such as Gush Dan, Jerusalem, Haifa and any place that has a high population concentration. The app, naturally, is based on the principle of sharing on social networks and connects the app users looking for parking space with those who are about to leave one.
So how does it work? When activating the app you can select one of two modes – find or share parking spot. If you are vacating a parking spot, you will be asked to mark where your car is parked and how long it will take you to reach it. Meanwhile, users searching for parking in the area will receive notification that you are about to vacate a specific spot and will be able to choose whether they want to take your place. In the event that they choose to do so, you will receive a detailed message that includes the information of the user who’s about to replace you, and at the end of the exchange you will receive virtual coins you can use later.
To date, Parko has more than 50 thousand users who benefit every day from finding parking mainly in Tel Aviv. The app users are the product’s main source of information, so if you can’t find available parking space, all you have to do is convince your friends living in the area to download and use the app too.
The app, by the way, benefits both sides involved since apart from finding a parking space one of the main elements of the app is the virtual money, which passes from one user to the other thanks to the vacating or taking-up of a parking space. While the money currently plays a relatively marginal role in the app, the founders plan in the future to offer coupons and various prizes to users participating in a parking spot exchange in an attempt to encourage more active use of the app.
Distress that became an idea
Behind Parko are Tomer Neu-Ner, the company CEO, Itai David CTO and Moran Barda, Director of Operations – all three are Tel Avivians in their early thirties, who suffer every day from the parking problem in Tel Aviv. The three met and decided to combine their forces in order to solve the problem and overcome the greatest obstacle of creating a social network for exchanging parking spaces.
Naturally, Tel Aviv was chosen to be used as the pilot city for the product. Following the experience they accumulated, the three men are preparing to launch the product abroad and cater to users suffering from parking shortages in crowded cities across the world.
Video: Parko – find a parking spot
This blog post is translated excerpts of the original article which was featured in Israel’s leading technology and startup blog.
Parko raises half a million dollars in order to solve your parking problems (Newsgeek — Hebrew)