Kiwi parking share app Parkable acquires Australian competitor Park Genie


Parkable, the Kiwi app encouraging city slickers to share parking spaces, has bought a Brisbane competitor Park Genie, as it sets off on its global expansion.


Parkable chief executive Toby Littin said the confidential deal took six months to complete.


Littin said getting a foothold in Australia was a big step for the business as the market there was about five times the size of New Zealand.


Parkable was the winner of the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Star Award last year for its exceptional revenue growth.


Mike Davis the founder of the Park Genie and former Uber Australia senior manager will head the Brisbane operation.


Davis said parking spots were a "precious resource" in the big cities.


"I see Parkable as the leader in the parking sharing economy. It's an amazing opportunity to be able to bring that platform to Australia," Davis said.


The global smart parking system market was valued at about  US$3 billion (NZ$4b) in 2017 and is expected to reach US$9b by 2024.


Parkable launched in three years ago offering 170 parks for the Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park.


Since then parks have been popping up around the country.


Littin said the business had revenue growth of 600 per cent in the past year.


He said 80 per cent of car parks in Auckland were under-used, which meant they were not used for at least a day.


"As a business there is more market than we can ever hope to address, the parking market is massive.


"The point of our business is to optimise the real estate," Littin said.


Next on the company's agenda is expanding across Australia.


Parkable also plans to launch in Shanghai, China, late this year, specifically targeting electric vehicle parking, he said.


"It's important to focus on a sub-section of the market in a country like China, just because of its sheer size and competition.


"Expanding to China seems like an unusual move for a Kiwi company, but we see a good natural fit with the Chinese consumer and our business. We see our tech development being really well aligned to be picked up in China. 


"We think our technology can provide some really good value to the land owner, value to the cities in terms reducing CBD congestion as well as with sustainability initiatives and reducing pollution," Littin said.