Discover how Parkopedia is taking the pain out of parking
With 38 million spaces across 52 countries, Parkopedia is determined to revolutionise the way you park your car.
Parkopedia helps drivers to find the cheapest and most convenient parking available. Its tech is used in its website and app but also in cars. We asked Christina Onesirosan Martinez, Parkopedia’s Marketing Director, what it’s all about
So, Parkopedia, what’s the deal?
Parkopedia is where you can find a lot of information about parking: where a space is available, if it can be booked, if it can be paid for by credit card or if you’ll need coins. We aim to be a Wikipedia for all things parking related.
Why does the world need your business?
We’re trying to make people’s lives easier. Of course, we want to make money but we’ve always stuck to our ethos, which is trying to make parking as painless as possible. People don’t park to park. They don’t go: “Yes, today I park!” but rather: “Urgh, I’ve got to park.” We’re trying to get the “Urgh” out and make parking as easy as getting on the Tube.
Where did the idea come from?
The company was founded in 2007 by Eugene Tsyrklevich. His idea came at a web conference in San Francisco – he’d rented a car and was driving to the venue where he just couldn’t find a parking space, so he ended up driving back to the hotel, parking his rental car and getting a taxi. Back in London, he started thinking that, with all the technology available, there must be something that could be done to avoid situations like this.
We started with a website where you could type in a ZIP code, post code, an address or a landmark and it would pull up all the available parking spaces. Today, we have about 38 million parking spaces in our database across 52 countries. In the past two or three years, we have seen our service explode in cars and we now have 13 OEM [original equipment manufacturer] clients, including the likes of Audi, BMW and Lexus.
Is Parkopedia already in cars?
Yes, they can integrate our database into their dashboards. Here’s an example with Ford: The United States has very strict driver distraction guidelines, so our database with Ford is voice integrated. This means that while you are driving, you could say: “Find me the nearest parking,” and then the car would give you the answer.
Anywhere else we can find it?
A lot of our parking systems are white labeled. We run, for example, all the parking services for the parking of the City of Westminster. Their app is called ParkRight, so you wouldn’t necessarily know you are using a Parkopedia app. We have now started focusing on the consumers, so hopefully this time next year people will know us.
When did you know Parkopedia was going to work?
Probably in 2010, the Automobile Association of the UK asked us if we could build an app for them to help their members with parking. We built the app for AA Parking with their branding and from that followed a lot of press coverage but also great reviews on the app store from consumers. From a personal point of view, I had to drive one of my children to the A&E and just left my car close to the entrance. One of the guards there saw this and offered to park the car for me. When I came out, the guy said: “If ever you need to come again, hopefully you won’t, but there is a really good site called Parkopedia.”
At what point will you have ‘made it’?
When people think of search, they think Google. When they think of online shopping, they think Amazon. And I want people to think of Parkopedia when it comes to parking. Whether it is for information, payments or bookings. At the moment, they find parking information with us but need to use other applications for payment and booking. We are in the process of doing all three, when that is completed, I can say: “Job done.”
For more information, visit parkopedia.co.uk