“Parking totally sucks here. We wanted a map that requires less clicks and less searching to keep the site focused on location and price,” says Co-Founder and CEO Charlie Ansanelli.
Launching this weekend in SF, Park Please is a local marketplace where people can rent out garages, driveways and parking spots, narrowing in on a segment once only served by classified website Craigslist. To the dismay of the developer community, Craigslist has aggressively worked to kill apps such as PadMapper that scrape its listing data, recently taking legal action and removing its index from search engines. Startups such as Yardsale have taken note, going after their own users by offering new mobile, GPS and social classifieds.
The bootstrapped Park Please is starting off with a simple beta site designed to serve only the parking needs around this weekend’s Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park. The event has an attendance of 180,000, many of which drive in from outside San Francisco, and there’s limited parking. Over the last week, Park Please has had 150 reservations for its available parking spaces, which go anywhere from $20 to $90 a day, a price set by either an individual renting the space or an organization with an empty lot. Ansanelli’s team of five founders are also renting spots in an empty school parking lot where they’ll be talking to users to inform the next iteration of the site.
“We like the ‘The Shared Economy’ concept and using resources that currently exist. The web and mobile make it possible,” says Ansanelli.
Search and filtering will be added to Park Please in the coming weeks, plus expect a mobile app and new cities within the year. Los Angeles is an obvious next choice, but Ansanelli says he has interest from drivers in San Diego and Atlanta. Competitor Parking Panda offers a similar parking marketplace service on the East Coast.