Apps like Google Maps, Uber, and Lyft make it easier than ever to get around cities. However, finding parking is still a common difficulty across urban environments, with no centralized system for monitoring available parking. Enter Parknav.
Parknav uses AI to monitor on-street parking in real-time. The company intends for its technology to help drive the formation and functionality of smart cities across the country. We sat down with founder Eyal Amir to learn more about how Parknav could be part of the smart city revolution.
Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?
Parknav uses AI to identify available on-street parking in real time. It is the only scalable solution that uses zero hardware and works for every street, 24/7, for all types of on-street parking (including free, metered & permit). However, our technology was built to predict so much more than parking — and this investment opportunity includes future tech applications.
What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?
I wanted to make a real impact in people’s everyday life. Parking is the most painful part of every driving experience. It is a worldwide day-to-day problem. Using my passion for AI, I was able to build a platform with patented state-of-the-art AI technology to provide accurate, scalable, affordable and real-time information about parking availability with the aim to improve the lives of millions around the world by enabling people to spend more time doing what they love — not being stuck in a car.
What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?
My 25 years of research is the foundation for Parknav’s groundbreaking, patented technology. I am a Stanford PhD, Professor at UIUC and IEEE “Top 10 to Watch in AI”.
What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?
Cities are going to become more packed, regardless of technology. Cities and services need precise information now. Modern cities will have more traffic and less parking, and they will require accurate and real-time data and services to deal with that. Also, with a future where autonomous vehicles will be able to park themselves, Parknav will provide the missing piece of the autonomous parking experience. We’ve already identified many more potential applications of our technology and data set, and it’s clear that Parknav will play a significant role in making the Smart Cities revolution better.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
Please meet our all stellar team, key to our current and future success:
- Igal Elon Chemerinski Partner, CRO: Techstars alum, head of sales and marketing for a number of successful startups from seed to exit. SaaS, Fintech, Smartcity, Mobility.
- Mark Lorkowski Partner, Director City Solutions: Multi-exit successful founder CEO from inception to 8-figure revenue in government and city space.
- Hugo Van Der Linde, SVP Corporate Development: Co-founded and MP-ed RMG (sold stakes of its ventures up to 8-digit), MD-ed Travel-Net (sold to TUI), CEO-ed publicly traded company (awarded best performer at the Euronext stock exchange).
- Juan Mancilla: Partner, Director of Eng and AI Ph.D. in Computer Science from UIUC, former Applied Researcher at Microsoft, Fulbright Scholar.
- John Alan Leney, SVP Business Development: Head of sales and marketing for a number of successful companies selling to automotive, including experiences in Deloitte, Dassault, GM.
- Marisa Schneider, Operations Manager: 5-language speaker, Psychology and Legal professional with multi-year experience in startup administration.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
Traditionally, cities and businesses have relied on dedicated, physical parking sensors to determine real-time parking availability. This costs cities and people a lot of money and time, and it’s neither practical nor scalable. Our solution is a precise, AI data-driven product that’s 100x more cost-effective — thus, 100x more scalable — and much more accurate. Compared to competitors like TomTom, INRIX and Parkopedia, we differentiate in both scope (adding on-street parking availability to our services) as well as accuracy.
What does your business model look like?
We provide our services from our SaaS platform to B2B customers who can subscribe to a mobility package (price per location, user per month), a smart city package (price per location, user per month) and an automotive/enterprise package (custom pricing).
What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?
With the money raised in this round we intend to accelerate growth of our business. Among others, we will boost our sales, marketing and product.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?
We would like potential investors to see that we are on path to a potential multi-billion valuation with a great growth momentum to successfully start this journey together:
- Growing footprint (from 40 to 1,000+ cities)
- Backed by Village Global VC with LPs including Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos
- Funnel increased 50X since previous Wefunder raise
- Customers include BMW, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom (parent of T-Mobile)
- Partners include Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Berlin, Volkswagen PlugAndPlay
- Patented AI technology, built for much more than parking — logistics, smart city, finance, real estate
- Over $1 million profit and cash flow positive 2019
- Brilliant CEO and a all-star team, multiple successful exists, publicly traded company former CEO
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?
In 5-to-10 years, we see Parknav to be at the center of the Smart Cities revolution, with the emphasis on real-time data and services. Parking is only the beginning.
This impending revolution is demanding our unique technology expertise right now and we’re ready to scale fast to capitalize on this momentum. The potential of Parknav to improve Smart Cities is boundless: from enhanced citizen and government engagement to reduced environmental footprint, improved infrastructure and life quality for urban dwellers.
We at KingsCrowd are excited to see where Eyal and his team take the company. Parknav raised more than $950,000 in its recent Wefunder campaign.