In 2014, I co-founded a tech startup that develops solutions to improve urban mobility and facilitate parking for drivers. We provided Car2Go with clean parking datasets to help with fleet operations in Montreal and NYC. Our mobile apps and backend are available as open source on Github.
The first common format for parking information
Obtaining parking data from cities was just the first step. Our platform included data from five cities — Montreal, Quebec City, NYC, Boston and Seattle — all distributed in a different format (parking lots, regulations, meters). Tens of hours of cleaning was necessary for every update in order to guarantee our users the best information possible.
In preparation for scale, we automated most of the cleaning process, and designed the first common format for parking data to offer users a simple and unique experience in all of our cities.
Fundraising and growth
We raised $300k in seed capital, with not much more than a vision, a good-looking keynote, and a skilled team hungry to solve complex puzzles. In just under 8 months, we launched an iOS app on the market and had over 10,000 active users in two cities.
We were part of the first cohort of Innocité, a Smart City Accelerator based in Montreal, Canada. This is the pitch I gave at our Demo Day.
When we stopped working full-time on prkng in 2016, we decided to open up the project for the developers community. All the components of our back-end and front-end are available on Github as open source (iOS and Android apps, processing system, API & data sets, explorer’s web interface).