Mobypark allows parking owners to share their parking spot and contribute to a better living in cities. In this interview, co-founder Manuel Cayre talks about his inspiration for starting Mobypark and what’s ahead for his company now and in the near future.
1. What inspired you to start Mobypark?
A real pain! We were going to work by car to the city centre of Paris. Every day it was the same story: wasting time looking for a parking spot, getting stressed before reaching the office already. Spending large amounts of time only to “get rid” of the car and getting parking tickets.
Until one day we ran into an old friend who mentioned that we could use the parking spot in his garage. He lived just around the corner where we were working. So we used his garage and every morning the garage was almost empty but in the evening full of cars. So while on the streets it is crazy to park the car, down here it was empty. And this is how Mobypark started.
2. What is the business model of Mobypark?
By sharing we stop the loop of creating more and more parking spaces; more cars are coming into the city and more infrastructure is needed. More traffic jams and more pollution is caused, this is an endless loop. If we start sharing cars, apartments, parking etc, and make a reservation in advance, we can reduce traffic jams by 30% and also reduce stress and pollution (according to Mobypark’s own research).
Mobypark shares private parking spaces with drivers. From individuals but also from companies that have a parking space, which is not fully occupied. So the city can offer more parking opportunities and also better prices. Drivers make a reservation with Mobypark and we charge a commission on every transaction.
3. What has been a challenge(s) for Mobypark?
We struggled in the beginning with the product. Now we have a robust product and we can move forward fast.
4. What’s ahead for Mobypark?
After just two years, we register 17,000 users and more than 3,000 parking spaces in France and the Netherlands, thus we were able to create a great solution for busy cities.
In these two years of existence we have shown that sharing parking spaces is a great opportunity to help cities to innovate the parking industry, and build communities. That is why in the next five years we want to be present in the major countries in Europe. And why not offer our services to the Asian market, where the parking pain is also great.
Today we are crowdfunding to continue our expansion and for this we partnered with Oneplanetcrowd, a great platform that helps projects and companies with a clear environmental objective to raise funds. So today you can become a shareholder of Mobypark by investing in us via Oneplanetcrowd.
5. What do you envision for Mobypark in three to five years?
We aim to lead the sharing parking industry in Europe in five years. Our vision is that when you travel you can find convenient parking with Mobypark. You travel from A to B, you find a great parking at B, but you can also share your parking in A. An integrated solution for the driver, the parking owner and the city.
6. What is your favourite Mobypark ‘member story’?
One of Mobypark’s greatest strengths is the customer service. A customer from the Czech Republic was so happy about our service and our team that she took the time to write a postcard and send it to us. A real postcard in 2015!
7. What is your advice to other startups in the collaborative (or: sharing) economy?
My advice is to segment your market, focus on the product, make sure it matches your segment, have a clear value proposition and speed up.
8. What is your advice to traditional companies and corporations?
My humble advice is to continue to innovate. Traditional companies should also join the sharing economy instead of fighting it. It is a great opportunity to create better economies together and not compete with each other. Traditional companies have the knowledge of the market and the networks and working together with startups can be a great combination towards a better economy, where the focus is on the customer.
9. Why does the collaborative (or: sharing) economy have the future?
Today the size of the sharing economy is 15 billion while it is estimated to reach 335 billion by 2025!
The sharing economy exists for a long time. The difference is that technology enlarges it and makes it possible for a company to reach the whole world. Before we used to hitchhike, now we do it online with Blablacar. Before you could rent an apartment from a friend of a friend, today you have Airbnb. Before we needed to ask money from friends and family to start a business, now we can crowdfund, like we do at Oneplanetcrowd. The way we consume changes and more and more people don’t mind to share instead of buying, which is a good solution to a pain. I believe the sharing economy allows us to be more conscious and that is why it has a great future.
10. What is a final insight you’d like to share with us?
I would like to share that ultimately we need to create businesses with a clear environmental objective, we need to strive to create companies that are not only economically sustainable but also environmentally. The challenge is greater and the sharing economy offers a good way to create companies that generate a positive impact on the earth. But watch out, sharing economy is not equal to green. Not all of the sharing economy ventures have a positive impact on our environment.
Mobypark reduces the traffic congestion and pollution by allowing drivers to make a reservation and park at private parking. And today you can support us on Oneplanetcrowd.com by investing in us.