Parking woes no more
Malaysia app startup, ParkEasy, just launched their peer-to-peer parking app that aims to tackle the everyday problem of locating vacant parking spots. Parking has been a persistent problem in Malaysia, and one that is increasingly frustrating for Malaysians. A PayPal survey had indicated that 67% of Malaysians complained about the difficulty of parking in shopping malls.
Honestly, do we really need a study to tell us that? How many of us loathe going anywhere on the weekends and after work because of the hellish parking situation? In this day and age where time is so precious, is it worth sacrificing so much quality time searching for a parking bay?
What most Malaysians do currently is circle a parking lot multiple times to find an empty space – or trail people in the hopes of securing their parking spots. But with ParkEasy, time spent looking for –and securing – a parking spot, will be at a bare minimum.
Warren Chan, CEO and founder of ParkEasy was inspired to solve this exasperating problem with the “way of the day”, that is, to let technology work for us… encapsulated in a simple-to-use and very intuitive smartphone app. “Life is too short to be spent searching for parking,” shared Warren, who after all, has had many firsthand encounters spending in excess of an hour looking for parking!
“We built ParkEasy as a platform for all our users to solve the parking problem together as a community,” explained Eric Tan, CTO of ParkEasy. “The location list grows organically. If there are enough users at a specific location – we will add it to the app”. As of today, the app works only at the hugely popular Mid Valley Megamall and Sunway Pyramid.
ParkEasy app works pretty similarly to other peer sharing apps such as Uber and AirBnB where those looking for parking spots, or “Parkers”, will be matched to those about to exit their parking spots, aka “Leavers”. Parkers will use ParkEasy credits for the convenience of easy parking – and these credits will be earned back when they become Leavers.
Every download of this free app comes automatically with a 10-point “start-up” credit. A 3-point credit will be earned every time one is a “Leaver” and a 3-point credit will be deducted every time one is a “Parker”. When one is out of credit completely, one has other ways of earning the credit, for example, by referring the app to others or by topping up your credit via a mobile wallet.
Simplicity is the engine that drives this app. Chan shares that it requires only very low bandwidth usage to link up between Parkers and Leavers. Just watch how easy it is!
It is certainly about time for an app like this to be in the Malaysian market. After all, ParkEasy was originally mooted after Chan and Tan clinched the top prize at a national level hackathon in 2014. After a few false starts, ParkEasy has been navigating its journey carefully but confidently, if the number of investors is anything to go by. These investors are PlaTCOM Ventures, 1337 Accelerator, MY Capital, Modal Perdana and last but not least, MDEC.
Going forward, ParkEasy is launching in Beta to test their system’s ability to handle mass exchanges, as previously they have only been running this app on a smaller scale. They have plans to expand regionally to other crowded locations, such as Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok and even Singapore.
Well, we say explore other locations within Malaysia first. What immediately comes to mind is the dire need of such an app that works in crucial places like public hospitals, for a start.