Finding a spot to park in Sydney is like trying to lick your elbow. Even if you do get lucky, expect to pay through the nose.
The NRMA has found that Sydneysiders are worse off – there’s less parking and it’s more expensive – than in major US cities such as Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.
Sydney drivers pay 97% more than those in Boston and 179% more than Seattle. As well as the endless frustration, the lack of parking also increases congestion by up to 30% as drivers waste time looking for a spot.
Divvy is a new startup that’s trying to match up the 10% of parking bays sitting idle in CBD commercial buildings with the people prepared to pay for them. It’s like Airbnb but for parking, a web platform that allows people rent out spare parking spots.
Divvy’s CEO Nick Austin says “We get cars off roads into affordable parking at their destinations… enabling cars to access off-street parking reliably.”
Austin argues Divvy could also be the solution to buying property without a parking space – an issue set to become more common after the NSW Planning Minister this week floated the idea of letting developers build apartments without car parking.
Austin says the startup isn’t trying flip the industry on its head, or rock the boat for public transport.
“In a lot areas we have provided parking areas around public transport hubs, allowing commuters to catch public transport. One of the key issues with public transport is the ability for people to get the major transport hubs easily,” he says.
“We use technology to create a digital marketplace allowing owners to list their spaces quickly and allow commuters to search for those spaces, and book them, at a touch of a button.
“Divvy manages the whole aspect of the booking including payments, reporting, member communication. We essentially create transparency where it didn’t exist before. We automate the whole transaction and we make it safe.”
Earlier in the year Divvy closed out a $350,000 seed round from a number of investors, including venture technology firm Blue Chilli, and now is just about to close seven-figure sum round of funding.
Divvy plans to launch in Melbourne in the coming weeks, followed by Brisbane.
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