ParkingRhino was founded in 2015 along with my co-founder and CTO, Mriganka. Since I moved to Bangalore in 2014, I used to find the problem of finding parking spaces even more acute than it was in Delhi, where I used to live earlier. In fact, when I confided on this to a few of my friends including Mriganka who have been long-time Bangaloreans, they laughed about it and mentioned that they don’t even think about taking out their vehicles on a weekend if they had to go towards the central business district. Considerable amount of time and fuel was spent in finding a parking space with the end result being driving around in circles to find such a spot. This led to the birth of ParkingRhino, wherein we wanted to remove the inefficiencies in discovery and booking of available parking space. We wanted anyone with a smartphone to search for such available parking spaces in the vicinity and book them online.
ParkingRhino mobile app was launched in the Google Play store in 2016 with an emphasis on providing verified and accurate listings of parking spaces along with their features such as availability of washrooms, valet parking, parking timings and rates etc. While we started with the verified listings for Bengaluru, we subsequently rolled out to Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai in a city wise expansion plan.
We hit a roadblock when it came to enabling bookings on the app. While working on matching demand between the vehicle owners and parking owners through our marketplace model, we realized that there are deeper inefficiencies in how the parking lots are currently managed and operated with legacy processes. At many places, there was lack of real-time information on parking slot availability as well as mismanagement of parking slips. These were red flags for us in trying to ensure a delightful customer booking experience when operating at scale.
This is when we decided to dig deep into the supply side of parking spaces and prioritized on building a platform that ensures for the following for these businesses: enabling real-time visibility into their parking inventory, plug any revenue leakages due to non-traceability of slips.
ParkingRhino launched its B2B POS product in April, 2016 and on-boarded its first beta customer. Early in 2017, we have extended the product into a wholly-software based B2B smart parking management platform. The core product i.e. the POS can be operated from a smartphone with a mobile printer, at the points of vehicle entry and exit. Simple and intuitively designed keeping in mind the parking personnel, ParkingRhino can digitize a parking space in less than 60 minutes.
Beyond the basic tier, advanced variants help in adjusting for dynamic pricing, predictive analytics and demand-based forecasting, single-pane-view across multiple locations, premium support etc. The platform provides connectors to integrate with any existing or new parking hardware such as parking sensors, boom barriers, CCTV s etc. As of today, more than 50 locations in Bangalore and Hyderabad are being powered by our smart parking management platform. From a business model standpoint (with the roll-out of the platform), we have pivoted to a SaaS based business model, from an earlier device-based charging model.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
Our approach to remove the inefficiencies in Parking for Parking Operators & Businesses with Parking spaces have been entirely different from what most of the parking solution providers have followed. These players have followed an asset-heavy model wherein they own the sensors (installed in each lot) or own the hardware equipment and personnel for each parking location. Ours is an asset-light model wherein our smart parking management platform not only provided point-solutions like a POS App to manage bookings and monitoring usage but also provide a much comprehensive platform wherein connectors and API enable integration with any existing hardware and processes that parking operators or businesses want to maintain.
For any parking operators, businesses with parking spaces or other parking management companies, if you are interested in a demo of our product or want to connect with us for collaboration opportunities, please fill this form
While we have been busy with solving problems for our B2B customers, we have also filed and got a patent for our Location Decider algorithm that chooses the best parking space given a destination location. We took a Machine Learning approach to solve for this problem that takes into account multiple real-time variables, crucial for grid-locked and fast-changing urban centres.
We are looking to roll-out the booking functionality on our B2C App in the next quarter of 2017, starting with Bengaluru. For those who want to explore our B2C App, you can find our Android App here.
This is still day 1 when it comes to having an impact on the fragmented and disorganized market space of Parking especially in India. Looking forward to creating more value for our Business partners as well as vehicle owners as we embark on this journey.
Signing off for today,
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