Are you sick of driving around Bangkok looking for an elusive parking space? Or maybe you’ve got unused space and want to rent it out to make some extra cash? A new service from Thai company Parking Duck is looking to revolutionise the way we park…
Parking Duck is a parking revolution in Bangkok
“Parking Duck is solving one of Asia’s biggest problem, which is finding a place to park” said the company’s CEO Paruey Anadirekkul.
The concept is similar to AirBnb but for parking, as a web service which helps you find or rent out space in Bangkok. There will also be a smartphone app in the near future.
The site is free to use, and is a much safer way to find parking spots than using online forums and web boards. Users sign up on their website, create a profile, and can also add additional details such as their driving license to make themselves a little more credible.
The website allows you to search and choose a spot based on your own preferences. Owners of the parking spaces can also set their own profile and enter details about the space. The whole thing is intended to also be very secure, as the company collects the driver’s details and car information when booking.
Paruey says that: “Parking in Bangkok is broken. When I worked as a consultant, visiting multiple client sites was a major pain because there was rarely any available parking near the sites. I typically had to park far way in unsecured areas. I realized I was not the only one experiencing this inconvenience. My colleagues, bosses, and even clients themselves could not find parking. I thought, what if I could park at the condominium next to the client site I worked at, where there were many empty spaces? I approached the condo owners through Google search and was granted parking. Then I thought, what if I could share this experience with others in need of parking? The host would earn money on the unused spaces and people in need would get parking, allowing the commuter to park without hassle.”
Nowhere to park in Bangkok
Asia is in dire need of more parking spaces, as there are more commuters than available space, especially in Bangkok where there are around 7 million cars and just 400,000 spaces. The great thing about Parking Duck is that it offers a simple solution and has a trusted website and brand that makes the process much simpler.
In Bangkok, there are in fact lots of spare spaces, but most of these are owned by homeowners at condos and apartments, so why not make use of them and ease the city’s terrible parking problem?
Here’s a screenshot from the website – we encourage you to give it a whirl if you’re constantly trying to find somewhere to park.
On the website, anyone that has an available parking space can rent out their parking, giving them some extra income. You can just list a space on the site and start earning money, and there are no fees to become a host. You can also set a monthly fee and times of the day or week when it’s available, plus there is an interactive map and a picture of the space itself.
The company itself is made up of a young team of engineers, professionals, and business people. To view more about the company, visit www.parkingduck.com.
Paruey Anadirekkul from Parking Duck explains more
Thai Tech interviewed Parking Duck’s CEO, Paruey Anadirekkul. Here’s what he had to say:
Thai Tech: why should you use Parking Duck?
The service has the following benefits:
- It is free to use
- Users are in control (they set price, availability, accept/decline drivers, etc)
- It makes communications easy for host and drivers (through an internal chat)
- Support (where we seek to provide insurance to qualified host of up to 100,000 baht by late February) and customer service
Thai Tech: how did the idea come about?
Paruey Anadirekkul: “The idea came about when I was a consultant at IBM where I would have to visit clients at their site. Most of the time, there was no parking for consultants. Then I realised that the problem wasn’t just me being unlucky but that my colleagues, my bosses, and sometimes even the clients themselves do not have parking spaces. But then near the client site, there was always an empty condominium or land that could be used for parking, but no one knew who to contact or have the time/information to bother asking. But I did spend the time to ask around, and eventually got parking for myself (but it took two months of regularly Googling and calling people about available spaces). That was when the idea started out as a solution to address my own problem; to make P2P parking easy.”
Thai Tech: does this run into any problems legally?
Paruey Anadirekkul: for condominiums/apartments: it is not illegal to rent out a parking space in Thailand. Renting out parking is similar to sub-leasing a room in a condominium or apartment. Thai laws does not prohibit this practice, however, you must have to have the right to a parking space to be able to rent it out and subject to the rules of the building or juristic person.
For homes: If there is available space in your front lawn and you own the property, then it is totally fine to rent out as well.
Public spaces: We prohibit renting parking spaces of public spaces such as common areas in condominiums/apartments or on the road in front of the houses. Basically any space that are not entitled or you have rights too we would have a content monitoring team to remove this.
With or without Parking Duck, people are already renting out their spaces online through forums and webboards. However, they are unsecured (no pictures of the parking space, no location, no profile of the owner), the transactions are done offline (money transfer), and inconvenient (drivers do not know if the space is already rented or not and it is hard to find where the space is actually located and how to get too). We see ourselves making this experience easier (integrated Google maps and pins with parking space and host profile) and more secured (as we collect driver’s license/car registration as part of the booking process).
Thai Tech: any traction so far, and feedback from users?
Paruey Anadirekkul: given that we recently beta-launched on Dec 13 we got organic listing from hosts (88 hosts with 200 parking spaces inventory) and registered drivers (150 registered). We have over 8,000+ users visited our site and generated 21,000+ page views.
Thai Tech: have you raised or intend to raise any funds? and what about future plans?
Our plans for 2015 are to raise funds to continue product development (iOS and Android app) and marketing/education to reach critical mass. We also look to partner with corporate parking spaces management to offer hourly and daily parking.
It’s great to see innovative Thai companies using technology to help solve real problems. Parking Duck’s idea is a great one, and we hope that lots of our readers will try out the service. We wish Parking Duck lots of luck and success in 2015!
Let us know in the comments below whether you have used, or would use, Parking Duck.