More than two decades after the great Vanilla Ice told us to “stop, collaborate, and listen” an Aussie and UK startup have decided to take his advice on board, with a simple Skype chat between founders leading to a learning partnership.
Announcing their partnership today, Your Parking Space, based in the UK, and Australia’s Parkhound are two apps doing similar things on different continents. Put simply, they’re like Airbnb for that very precious, often expensive city commodity: the parking space. The two companies allow individuals and businesses to list their unused parking spots for hire, such as a private parking space in front of their house or in their garage.
Michael Nuciforo of Parkhound says the partnership with a comparable business operating in a non-competing market was a no-brainer. “The whole process of starting a business is about learning and trying to establish the right market fit for your product. Partnership with another business allows you to double your learning capacity for a minimal amount of effort.”
There is a lot that Parkhound, founded in 2013, can learn from the older Your Parking Space, which was founded in 2006.
Nuciforo explains the partnership came about after he reached out to congratulate the team at Your Parking Space on getting investment. “The initial discussions were around sharing some of the learnings and challenges we had experienced growing our respective businesses. We then started to discuss opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge more formally.”
He says the partnership is focused on cooperation around research and development, with both businesses contributing resources to developing new products and features, and fast tracking them to market.
For example, Parkhound will look to leverage Your Parking Space’s automatic number plate recognition system, which will assist its commercial partners in governing their parking spaces, while Parkhound will allow its UK counterpart to the innovative parking sign capability it is currently working on. The smaller Parkhound can also look to Your Parking Space, which manages over 250 000 spaces across the UK, to understand how to scale the business.
Nuciforo believes this type of partnership will catch on. “I think all Australian start-up businesses should identify a comparable business operating in a non-competing market to see if they can establish a partnership,” he says.