Startup Parkwheels turns chaotic parking into smart parking
The start-up provides smart parking solution through automation (i.e. hardware, software and mobile app). (Reuters)
Have you ever driven yourself crazy trying to finding an empty parking spot, only to realise that you have ended up miles away from your destination in your quest to safely park your car? You may then thank Parkwheels to have come up with a solution
for your woes. The start-up provides smart parking solution through automation (i.e. hardware, software and mobile app). Its mobile app helps the customer in finding real-time status of parking and paying parking charges with one tap. “Parking is a problem we face everyday, whether we are going to the office or visiting a mall. We, ourselves, have faced numerous time this problem of parking numerous times and this has inspired us to find a solution,” says Dhananjay Rathore, co-founder, Parkwheels.
Parkwheels was started by ex-Grey Orange Robotics employees Dhananjay Rathore and Sumit Jain in December 2015. They started with a sensor-based solution but soon realised that it was not suitable in terms of cost and scalability for the
Indian market and pivoted to RFID system in April 2016.
“More than 29 parking zones/places in Delhi NCR with 12,000 parking slots per day have been equipped with our technology. We are now handling more than 3.5 lakh car parkings a month,” says Rathore. “We hit the market in September, 2016 and since then we are growing on an average 30% month-on-month. We are targeting to reach over one lakh parking slots by FY 18 and five lakh by FY 19.” Usage of this technology helps corporate and commercial places reduce pilferage and staff employed in parking. For government bodies such as municipal corporations, it’s an example of a smart city would provide to its citizens, while for consumers, it gives the convenience of e-receipt, online/offline payment and information of parking availability through a mobile app.
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Parkwheels currently has two products; the RFID solution and the handheld solution, with the former one being its main line of product. It is especially targetting corporate buildings where the same people come on a daily basis—RFID tags are placed on each car thus streamlining parking services. Talking about some of the successful installations, Rathore informs, “Our product has been successfully accepted by clients like Spaze, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orchid Group, ILD, etc. Talks are in an advanced stage with companies such as IBM, Brookfield, DLF, Lodha Group, etc. Our mobile app has got 900-plus installs till date and is set to cross 3,000 downloads by end of June, 2017.”
The founders have put in Rs15 lakh of their own money in the venture. It has received angel funding of Rs60 lakh and now hopes to raise around $2 million as seed capital by the end of June. This amount will be used to expand its operations to Mumbai and Bangalore. “Once 25% of the cars in a city have our tags we will switch to malls, other paid parking areas and then to tolls. The market we are tapping is currently worth $23 billion and by 2020 it will be over $50 billion,” says Rathore.