Spacer and Parkhound
Spacer and Parkhound CEO and Co-founderProfile URL
Tell us about you, and your career journey?
I’m a self-professed tech nerd, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of Spacer and Parkhound. I started my first business, AuctionBrokers (which became the #1 eBay seller inAustralia), when I was just 19 and was catapulted into the world of entrepreneurship. My next venture then included creating and growing DealsDirect to become the single largest online-only retailer in Australia. Through Deals, I learnt a lot about the world of eCommerce and leadership.Spacer itself came about in 2015. I was always fascinated by the sharing economy, and, as I Was searching for my next business venture it seemed like a perfect fit. The ‘Aha’ moment for me came when I was in need of some extra storage. I realised traditional options were expensive and inconvenient. My neighbours opened my eyes to how much space was available in our very own street, in the form of people's spare rooms, garages and storage cages. We Acquired Parkhound in 2017 and pivoted to include parking as well, after we found it was even more of a pain point for our customers. I'm proud to say we are now the #1 peer-to-peer storage and parking marketplace in Australia and have expanded our operations into the States as well.In my personal life, I’m a Dad to two hilarious and cheeky kids and am also an avid listener ofCrowded House, Split Enz and other Aussie rock classics.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 trends in your transport industry niche that everybody should look out for in the next 5 years?
I think we'll see a lot happening in the transport sector over the next 5 years, but the three trends I think we will be primarily seeing include:
1. Digital, digital, digital: This should come as no surprise as the move to online was accelerated by the pandemic. However, I think this will be particularly prominent within the transport industry. We've already seen the start of this with the rise of ride sharing apps, traffic and direction services like Waze and even the government's own transport solutions including Park’nPay meter replacement in NSW. I believe we will continue to see this evolve further, with innovations from key players in both the public and private sectors - from UberCopter, to shared commute options, to self-driving cars. Anything to get traffic off of the roads, or harness technology to reduce congestion.
2. Sustainability is key: As Aussies continue to get more environmentally conscious and as we see the impacts of climate change continue to shake the world, I believe we’ll see more uptake with transport options that have sustainability as core to their business model. For example, more usage of sharing economy companies such as car-sharing solution, Car Next Door, who have implemented a carbon offset plan.Sharing economy businesses naturally lend themselves as a sustainable solution, by the nature of leveraging under-utilised assets to better serve the community. At Parkhound, we’re on admission to connect those who need parking with locals in their area who have space to spare. This avoids taking up valuable city space to continue building high-rise parking garages. I believe we'll also hopefully see more incentives from the government to opt for public transport options, or car-pooling options to handle the increasing population of Australia's major cities.
3. Open data-sharing: I think one up-and-coming trend we can expect to see more of is data sharing between transport companies. This is a big focus of both the private and public sectors, to enable better collaboration between existing solutions and therefore, improving how transit systems could operate in cities Australia-wide. Better availability of mobility data could be used to feed the abundance of existing transit apps, provide governments with better information on the use of their transport infrastructure, and could then also be used to improve the services themselves
How does your company innovate?
We innovate through rapid experimentation, with a clear and measurable goal at the end of each test. We use these to gather insights about our customers and what they need from our service, and use those insights to continue updating our platform to make our storage and parking solutions easier to book and even more accessible. As a marketplace, there's also always a precarious balance between demand and supply, so we are continuing to source new earnings from both hosts and renters through customer interviews so we can ensure our platform benefits both groups equally. We also work closely with a network of specialists in parking, technology, marketing and more to continue getting fresh insights and ideas. Innovation has been a big part of Spacer and Parkhound from the start, and we’ve focused on creating a culture where everyone feels comfortable to bring forward ideas. Innovation can come from anyone in the team and isn’t restricted to certain departments or roles, and this kind of team empowerment has helped us grow & innovate.
Why is encouraging innovation, new ideas, and applying new technology important?
It's no secret that our cities can only handle so much, so innovation in the transport sector is incredibly important to keep us thinking of new ways to deal with Australia's growing population in sustainable ways. Transport is an essential service for all citizens and something that impacts us on a daily basis, so the more we can continue using technology to innovate and make this experience better for everyone, the better. Many companies have already proven that we can make transport a more enjoyable experience for everyone by thinking of things in a different way, so we hope to be a part of encouraging this culture of ideation and creative thinking in the transport industry.
Any final thoughts?
Parkhound gives people the opportunity to unlock parking spaces in their community that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them. Plus, by connecting you to locals rather than big parking chains, you’re able to save up to 50% on your parking costs - while scoring your perfect park right near work, uni or home. No more circling the block for hours searching for that pesky spot!Alternatively, if you have an underused parking space, driveway or garage, make your space work for you. Earn hundreds each month on something you already own just by listing your space on Parkhound in 10 minutes or less.
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