FlashParking wants to make parking easier for drivers and businesses.
By Nicole Cobler Posted at 1:23 PM Updated at 1:24 PM Austin-based
The technology startup, co-founded by Juan Rodriguez, Dean Cleaver and Eliseo Diaz, aims to make parking a seamless experience by providing revenue control and parking access for businesses operating small valet stands to those with a massive parking garage.
“We are focused on perfecting the parking experience,” said Rodriguez, CEO of FlashParking.
FlashParking currently operates in more than 1,000 parking locations nationwide, including the Texas Health Dallas hospital and the Toyota Music Factory in Irving.
The company’s large customer base allowed FlashParking to grow by 100 percent for the past five years, according to Rodriguez. Tthe company expects to bring on seven additional employees before the end of the year.
WHAT THEY DO:
FlashParking, formerly known as Flash Valet, began in 2011 to help valet stands manage their revenue. The company allowed customers to pay for their parking and tip over the phone.
But FlashParking isn’t a consumer company, Rodriguez said. It’s a business-to-business company, which means it exchanges its product between businesses rather than consumers.FlashParking is dipping its toes into the consumer side with a recently announced partnership with SpotHero, a parking reservation platform. The two companies launched a pilot program for bluetooth parking in Austin, allowing drivers to reserve a parking spot and enter garages with the tap of a button on their phones.
The partnership began on Oct. 22 and includes 14 parking locations. The companies will release the results of the pilot test soon, Rodriguez said.
“We need to find way to make it less painful to enter and exit a parking facility,” Rodriguez said, adding that the FlashParking-SpotHero tool “helps us perfect the parking experience for consumers.”
WHO THEY ARE:
Rodriguez, Cleaver and Diaz co-founded the company after they noticed how difficult it can be to notify a valet and tip through a cellphone. Rodriguez, who previously held senior executive positions at companies like MPower Labs and Rev Worldwide, said the parking industry has not yet caught up to the technology that is expected in day-to-day life.
FlashParking operates entirely on cloud-based architecture, according to Rodriguez, which is rare in the parking industry.
“If you think about the parking industry, it’s still not there,” Rodriguez said.
FlashParking has raised just under $5 million. Rodriguez said the company is now cash flow positive, meaning it no longer needs to raise money to stay afloat.
In the future, Rodriguez said he expects the company’s bluetooth partnership with SpotHero to expand to all of North America and Canada.
The company’s biggest challenge is increasing the number of people who feel comfortable with the way FlashParking’s business model works, according to Rodriguez. The company does not operate like a car company, which would sell to dealers.
“We sell direct, we support direct and we run on the cloud,” Rodriguez said. “All of these things are really different and people don’t feel comfortable yet.”
The Statesman’s Startup Spotlight series highlights Central Texas startups that might otherwise be overlooked. To nominate a startup for the series, email Nicole Cobler at email@example.com, Sebastian Herrera at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lori Hawkins at email@example.com.