Success for Telefónica programme: GFT invests in Wayra start-up Parkpocket
Telefónica‘s start-up programme Wayra reports of another success. The young founders of the company parkpocket, enrolled at the Munich Academy, have won over a particularly well-known investor: TecDAX company GFT Technologies from Stuttgart and its famous founder Ulrich Dietz, for whom this is the first investment in a start-up. At the same time, parkpocket is releasing the latest version of its app, which solves a particularly annoying every-day problem: trying to find a free parking space.
The new investment is a special proof of faith in the intelligent technology, thanks to which parkpocket indicates the amount of occupied parking spaces in real-time. The app will know as soon as a space becomes vacant, as parkpocket cooperates closely with municipalities as well as Europe’s leading operators of parking garages and is connected to their systems and databases. Not only does this solution make it easier to find a parking space, it is also beneficial for the environment: After all, an estimated 40 percent of inner-city traffic is caused by drivers trying to find a parking space. In addition, by using the app, consumers also benefit from a comparison of prices as well as further information on opening hours, availability of disabled parking and other details.
GFT Technologies: CODE_n raised interest in parkpocket
“We are investing in parkpocket because it solves a genuinely important problem that millions of people face every day,” says Ulrich Dietz, CEO of GFT. “As a result, the business model is quickly scalable. The applied technology as well as the highly motivated team indicate that we can expect a lot to come of parkpocket.” Back in March, the clever Wayra start-up already made it to the finals of CODE_n, the international competition for new IT-based business models that GFT Technologies organize at CeBIT every year. It was on this occasion that Ulrich Dietz first became acquainted with the business and decided to invest in a participant of CODE_n for the first time. GFT is now providing around half a million Euros, which parkpocket will use primarily to expand the technology as well as the business itself.
parkpocket: Find free parking spaces in real-time
As part of the investment, parkpocket is now also releasing its new app, which is now available for iOS and Android. The new parking app helps users find free parking spaces in their vicinity, compare prices and access detailed information on parking facilities. In addition, it calculates how long it takes to drive to the next parking garage as well as to walk from there to a given destination. Once a parking garage has been selected, the touch of a button in the app opens Google or Apple Maps’ navigation and you’re ready to go. At last, parking has become plannable: Never again miss an appointment because of the hunt for a parking space. Another advantage: The parkpocket solution can now also be integrated into other digital devices and services for connected cars. To this end, the start-up already collaborates with a number of high-profile German automobile manufacturers and suppliers, for which it has developed customized solutions. After its successful launch in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, parkpocket is to be available soon in further European countries.
Wayra: Telefónica’s start-up accelerator
“Our vehicles are making leaps of development towards becoming connected cars, which will soon be able to drive autonomously. Finding parking spaces is an integral part of this development,” says Garan Goodman, Managing Director of Wayra in Germany. “For this reason, the convenient solution offered by parkpocket fits well within the smart capital of GFT Technologies. Wayra has again proved its fail-safe sense for promising technologies and the best investors.” The young founders of parkpocket are a team of siblings from Rottweil, Stefan and Karoline Bader, and their friends. They moved into Wayra last year to perfect their business idea. The Munich Academy provided them not only with capital and a co-working space located in the city centre, but also with coaching and contacts that helped parkpocket on its way to success. This is what Telefónica’s programme, which translates as “wind", is all about: Kick-starting the best start-ups in their development of digital technologies and respective business models. Wayra is a global pioneer project of the initiative Open Future that brings together all branches of the Telefónica Group’s external innovations and venture capital investments. During the application rounds for the Wayra Academies in 12 countries, more than 30.000 business ideas for digital projects have been submitted. As of today, Open Future comprises more than 500 start-ups. So far, the initiative has invested more than 300 million Euros in the support and financing of digital projects worldwide.