Interviews
17 Jul 19

Start-up of the Year Appyparking: "To build a harmonised kerbside map of Europe"

Start-ups are creating excitement and disruption in the new mobility space. In 2018 Appyparking was runner-up in the Smart Mobility Start-Up Awards 2018, for their solution to support efficient parking. 

We are approaching our 2019 Smart Mobiility Start-Up Awards in November in Estoril. While looking for new start-ups to apply, we have a look at how our previous winners are doing. What have they achieved since their victory and where are they going?  The second in the series is the second-prize winner of last year, Appyparking. Head of Mobility Ben Boutcher-West looks back on the past year.

Introduce Appyparking in one sentence.

The positive link between government and the private sector enabling data, used for good, to make parking forgettable.

How does Appyparking serve fleet managers?

Our data hub provides an interface to show a driver exactly where they can park near that job, at that time in that location. No more trying to read street signs, getting parking tickets or driving around trying to find a suitable location. Done right, it’s an OpEx savings for fleets and a great improvement for driver’s well-being. 

Describe your business at the beginning of the Smart Mobility Start-up Award the year you participated, and what have you reached since then? 

We have grown our data coverage to 400 cities and increased its ability to support more use cases. In addition, we have 30 new recruits taking us to 54 as of June. And we now have a network of global partners all enjoying a comprehensive view on the UK's parking. 

And, we are about to announce some exciting fleet customers on the platform, directly as a result of our success at Fleet Europe. Through the engagement with the fleet sector we have iterated our products to support partnership frameworks already serving fleet managers, this has made the integration smoother.

Where do you see Appyparking five years from now?

We will have a number of cities empowered by the platform by then and fully integrated with everything that has to do with the kerbside. That will mean agile kerbside access when you need it and a transparent price that is fair, while maintaining key city KPI's toward congestion and emissions. We will be talking in more languages by then too!  

What are concrete plants for the upcoming year?

That’s top secret but you can expect some exciting announcements which enable us to better support local government with revenue and data, new partners from across the industry and our presence in non-UK cities.

If we lived in a world in which everything is possible – no financial or technical limits – what would you add / change / improve at Appyparking at the moment?

We would likely build a harmonised kerbside map of Europe; we are lobbying for this through the Department of International Trade and the EPA but it is going to take time. This would make our lives a lot easier and resolve the problems of those who think they have this already.

Can you share us a memorable moment of the time after the startup award in the development of Appyparking?

Yes, we had not long received the trophy and while dancing at the after party I met our new fleet customer, we are still dancing.   

How has the Award helped your business grow?

It certainly gave us valuable recognition and credibility within a complex industry. To win an award is also a far easier way to get introduced rather than business cards!

What is your most valuable insight you could share with other smart mobility startups? 

Never lose sight of the customer, many bigger firms will tell you they have it all figured out, they don’t, they were small once too and maybe one day they will be pitching to you!! 

How do you envision the future of Smart Mobility and where does Appyparking fit in the picture?  

We see an increasing number of operators and services all supplying mobility as part of a wider framework under subscription models. Cars will no longer be owned and fleets will be dynamic, supporting demand as and when similar to the way manufacturers use JIT today. Key is that kerbside access is not going away, people will still need access, freight will still need to bedelivered, the trade will still need to make visits to deliver service. So kerbside access and parking are not going away, they will become more demanded, more complex – that’s where we fit.

Do you want to play a part in the future of smart mobility? Follow into Appyparking's footsteps and apply for the Smart Mobility Start Up Awards 2019 in Estoril

Authored by: Fien Van den steen
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