If you work in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, your commute probably takes more than an hour if you drive. Not only do you have to brave the commute to work, if your workplace doesn’t provide you with a designated parking spot, you will have to fight for parking space which can also cost a bomb—up to RM24 per day according to DBKL’s website.
Knowing that finding parking especially in the city center can be a huge pain point, Kyan Liew set out to make a change in the industry. Seeing the dire state of parking in SS15 reminded him of parking rentals available back in London, and he set about looking for a similar solution to be localised in Malaysia.
Thus he rented out his first ever parking space as proof of concept in August of 2016 at KL Sentral where he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. After it proved a success, ParkIt was established in December of 2016.
Utilising Hidden Potential
Kyan’s past experience as a Management Consultant in PwC has provided him with many of the skills necessary to build and operate ParkIt. He is supported by two other co-founders.
“From working alone in the early stages, until today, managing a team of 12, many of the management and leadership skills lent themselves to ParkIt,” said Kyan.
According to him, ParkIt works by providing a service where anyone with a vacant parking space is able to rent to drivers who are in need of those parking spaces.
“This can range from home owners, tenants, and developers in both residential and commercial buildings, as long as they have and want to rent their vacant parking spaces,” he added.
Drivers are typically those who work within the vicinity and would prefer their own parking space to rent as opposed to paying daily rentals or expensive and more often than not, unavailable season passes provided by their buildings.
The ParkIt team is currently targeting anybody who has a vacant parking space in an area that is commercially thriving, such as places like KL Sentral, KLCC, Pusat Bandar Damansara, Bangsar, TTDI, Damansara Heights and more. Kyan added, “These are most often than not, home owners of condominiums within the vicinity.”
“The parking is built and it’s empty. It does not make sense to spend millions to build a multi-level car park in our city when there are so many residential car parks under-utilised,” explained Kyan.
Taking inspiration from sharing communities that have popped up recently such as co-working spaces, Kyan wants to make parking spaces accessible to those who need them via the sharing economy business model.
Cheaper And More Accessible Parking?
As Malaysians, price plays an important factor in our daily lives, which is why the price of parking also matters. Thus for Kyan and his team, they understand the importance of it and try to keep their prices as competitive as possible compared to the seasonal parking rentals offered by traditional vendors.
The prices on the platform range from RM150 for areas with lower demand up to RM350 in areas with high demand. However, asking price is usually determined by property owners but the ParkIt team will try their best to advise the best price taking into account market rates, supply and demand economics and commercial car park prices.
Users will also have the convenience of having their own personal reserved parking space, as opposed to a floating one provided in parking areas.
“In addition, these parking spaces are also in residential buildings where access is limited and hence much safer, one of the things our users are always concerned about,” Kyan added.
Starting From Scratch
The business was bootstrapped with less than RM1,000 in the beginning, but after the ParkIt team was accepted into the WatchTower and Friends (WTF) Accelerator programme in partnership with Nexea Angels, they managed to raise RM50,000.
“At the end of the five months accelerator program, we managed to [multiply our numbers by 10 times] and raised RM250,000 on PitchIn, gaining several mentors. 2 months later we got accepted into Batch #1 of the Cradle Fund CIP 300 program,” said Kyan.
Currently, the team told us that ParkIt has brought in more than RM2 million in revenue per annum and Kyan attributes this achievement to the mentoring, support system, networking and credibility that their investors have provided them.
ParkIt and the team won’t be stopping at where they are now, they are looking to fund-raise for the years 2019–2020 and they will also be seeking out for potential strategic partnerships with developers, car park operators and land owners that will help ParkIt reach more people.
In the future, Kyan would be looking to expand their services beyond Klang Valley and even beyond Malaysia as they have recognised multiple areas throughout the country and abroad that would benefit from the service offered by ParkIt.
With the aim of helping customers have one less thing on their mind to worry about when they wake up in the morning and dreading their commute, Kyan and his team looks like they will have a lot to work on as the number of cars on the road continue to increase.
You can find out more about ParkIt by visiting their website here.