An Australian-developed app that allows businesses and individuals to rent out unused car parking spaces is launching a Series A fundraising in a bid to help it expand beyond its current 70 cities.
KERB, which was founded in 2016 by Rob Brown and Matt Salmon and draws on the increasing popularity of the sharing economy, allows “leasers” of parking spaces to view and then approve or deny bookings made by drivers seeking a place to park off-street.
For the leaser’s security purposes, the vehicle’s registration details as well as vehicle insurance details or a photo of the driver’s licence can be requested.
The app is currently used in around 70 cities worldwide, including all of Australia’s capital cities as well as the Gold Coast and Newcastle.
“We recognise that parking across the world has reached a crunch point,” Mr Brown said.
“Commuters are spending too much time and money on parking, and in return they get an unpleasant parking experience — and one which is full of friction, in the form of gates, queues, tickets and parking fines.
“Meanwhile, a huge number of off-street parking spaces sit empty (in driveways, apartment blocks, churches, universities, retail malls and commercial parking lots) that technology can unlock.”
According to Mr Brown, “peer-to-peer parking” is the first of four stages planned for KERB over the next decade, which will look to incorporate electric vehicles and use data to extend the app’s operational capabilities.
The fundraising — the target amount of which is yet to be disclosed — will aid the app’s ongoing expansion and development.
“We’re really excited about the Series A raise. KERB was launched in 2016 and is already localised for 600 cities across the world and is available in 20 different languages,” Mr Brown said.
“We are currently under non-disclosure agreements with several major property and retail groups and car manufacturers and are looking forward to taking KERB to the next level.”
A similar app, Parkable, was founded in New Zealand and moved to Australia following the acquisition of Brisbane start-up Park Genie in February this year.
However, parking spaces are not the only form of unused space that can be used to generate passive income.
As previously reported, another Australian-developed app, Find Fill Storage, is connecting businesses with surplus warehouse space with others in need of additional space to store goods on a short-term or ad hoc basis.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.