Divvy Parking is the perfect lovechild of sharing economy giants Uber and Airbnb — letting you book a space for your car in secure parking that until now has gone underutilised. With public parking rates in Australian CBDs as high as $90 for a single day, Divvy's added ability to book parking on a daily basis is a win for everyone.
The idea behind Divvy is simple. In city CBDs across Australia, many private parking spaces are left empty while looking for new tenants or monthly bookings. Divvy allows property managers to list each space separately on a monthly, daily or soon hourly basis. "We can load up underutilised space on our platform," says Divvy CEO, Nick Austin. "It's a simple but effective solution to the problem of having tenants move out and leaving a large number of spaces empty.
One of the biggest drawcards of other shared services like Airbnb and Uber is that they utilise assets that were previously not monetised at all (eg. private residences and private vehicles) to offer a cheaper service than is available through traditional means. Divvy is no different. A quick look at Sydney CDB parking available now on Divvy brings up a listing for a secure spot in a Margaret St complex — $39 for the day. A similar location through a nearby public parking service costs $69 on a weekday, while other CBD parking lots can charge up to $89 for a full day.
Divvy is currently in the process of rolling out daily parking, and future plans will offer bookings on an hourly basis. With most of the properties on offer being corporate, it's no surprise that its users are mainly people who commute into the CBD for work. However Nick believes that opening up daily — and especially hourly — bookings will allow casual users to take advantage of the service. Divvy is also looking into expanding into evening and weekend parking, saying it could potentially "reinvigoriate the Sydney CBD" at a time when parking in the city centre is getting even less accessible.
One of the big advantages of Divvy is that it offers a consolidated hardware and software system. Divvy's hardware is installed on top of an existing boom gate, with a system to monitor each space that can be booked. The scanner at the gate works with Divvy's app — available for both iOS and Android — which generates a QR code with the details of the booking. "Imagine if every building in the CBD could be booked and accessed through a single mobile phone app," says Nick, and the idea definitely does have some promise. Divvy also offers a 24/7 call center, which means that property managers can offer a better service while also making a better profit.
Divvy is currently up and running in Sydney and Melbourne, with the system being installed in Brisbane as we speak. The app already has around 10,000 active users, with over 3000 spaces available across the two states.