You’re in Bangalore, and you’ve just spent an hour navigating your vehicle through traffic. Not only did you have to travel during rush hour, but you also watched an accident happen right in front of you. Then, you participated in the chorus of horn-honking that ensued as the two drivers argued with each other. You tried in vain to get around the traffic jam, and now, you’ve arrived at your destination 40 minutes late. You still have to look for parking, which is nowhere to be found.
You still have to look for parking, which is nowhere to be found.
Lucky for you, you have a friend – a flying rhinoceros, wings outstretched, that’s hovered over the traffic ahead of you and found your parking spot. It lands in a flourish of winged glory and reserves the spot for you until you secure your vehicle.
That’s the vision that fuels ParkingRhino, a Bangalore-based startup that helps people book parking spots through an app. Meanwhile, parking lot owners using pen and paper to keep track of their parking spots can use the app instead, as well as process payments without cash.
ParkingRhino, selected by Nasscom 10,000 Startups and Google Launchpad, is available on Google Play and can help drivers in Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Pune book their spots.
King of the lots
Co-founders Tridib Konwar and Mriganka Deka are from the northeast Indian state of Assam, which has the one-horned rhinoceros as its state animal. The two struck up the idea for ParkingRhino after Tridib went to visit Mriganka in Bangalore.
“I really found a horrible infrastructure in Bangalore,” he explains. The combination of traffic plus the extra 20 minutes it took to park was frustrating. “Somehow, we need to solve this problem.” He ended up moving to Bangalore in 2014 and began working on ParkingRhino the following year.
I really found a horrible infrastructure in Bangalore.
Drivers using ParkingRhino can log in and search for verified parking spaces around their destination. To book a space, they pay around US$0.75 to US$0.90, plus the price of the parking spot – ParkingRhino takes 20 percent of the parking fee. Spaces are verified through a combination of the startup’s team, which goes out and examines parking spots for viability, user reviews, and trackers that show how often – or not – a spot is used on the app.
Owners of small parking lots can use the app in conjunction with a small invoice printer to print tickets via Bluetooth. Larger lots will pay more to use the startup’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) system, which gives the owner real-time analytics – the number of car entries and exits from the lot – and connects to existing cameras and parking management systems.
ParkingRhino also offers a separate app to manage valet parking.
The startup takes card payments, with cashless payment wallets like Paytm accepted at a few parking locations. Tridib tells Tech in Asia that the company is working on tying up with two specific payment startups, but doesn’t say which.
Flying toward the future
For underground parking garages and other dead zones, the startup is developing a system that uses sound to track cars entering and exiting the parking lot. Aiming for a feature launch next month, the startup will have smartphones issue a beep, which will be audible from around two to six meters away.
The app will also cover Chennai and Hyderabad in the following month. It currently has 500,000 monthly active users who make use of 1 million parking spaces. That’s a far cry from the beginning, when the founders fought an uphill battle with parking lot owners for four to five months.
Kochi-based PinPark launched last month and takes more of an “Uber for parking spaces” approach, crowdsourcing parking spots via an app. PParkE and on-demand valet startup Constapark also tackle the same issue.
Converted from Indian rupees. US$1 = INR 68.31
This post Running late? This startup wants to cut 20 minutes off your parking time appeared first on Tech in Asia.