Yespark is a Parisian start-up specializing in connected parking. Founded in 2014 by 2 students from Polytechnique and Centrale Paris, the start-up has grown exponentially to have around 20.000 available parking spots in France today. How do automated calls get involved in such a project? Vincent Lefeuvre, COO of Yespark shares his insights with us.
An innovative start-up project
“The founders of Yespark started with a simple analysis: there are a lot of vacant parking spots underground while a lot of car drivers are looking for a spot to leave their car above ground. Getting car drivers in touch with the owners of these vacant parking spots would allow the city to work better and help public health and town planning”, explains Vincent Lefeuvre, Chief Operations Officer at Yespark.
“In France, a law decrees that all cities should have at least 25% of social residences. These residences offer accommodation at a lower cost for a part of the population. Now, for the French social house, renting an apartment does not oblige the renter to also rent a parking space. There is a lot of demand for the social residences but not so much for the parking spots. So, a lot of these spaces stay empty. That’s the slot on the market that Yespark targeted: a new parking alternative for people looking for a parking spot in French cities”, reveals Vincent.
How to create an easy contact between the car drivers and available parking spots?
“The answer seemed logical to us: an application. Within 2 minutes, the customer can download the Yespark application and see all available parking spaces around him on a map and with a price tag. He can then easily select his parking, choose a spot and take a monthly subscription through the app. To be sure that the parking and the spot are fine for the customer, we offer him two free days to try the parking. There is no daily parking or yearly contract”, explains the COO of the company.
The renter’s mobile phone becomes his primary access tool to the garage. By clicking on a button, he can open the door and access his parking spot. “This is a big advantage for our subscribers” says the start-up’s COO, “there is no papers to sign, no remote control or keys to retrieve. Everything goes through the mobile phone”
Automated calls to communicate with receptors through the mobile network
“All garage doors are equipped with a connected object”, reveals the Vincent. “These are built to receive and understand SMS and phone calls through an integrated SIM card. The communication is established between the application, when the customer is asking for the door opening, and our server. An automatic verification is made about the customer asking for the door opening then, if everything is alright, we ask our connected object to open the door, using mobile network. The entire cycle is completed in approximately 5-6 seconds”, explains the start-up’s COO. “RingRing is a key link in our process. It allows us to control everything from a distance.”
The advantages of automated calls to solve a technological challenge
Choosing automated calls to allow our customer to enter in their parking is a strategic choice. There are some advantages in doing so. “We chose to use automated calls for two reasons”, explains Vincent. “first of all, it allows us to dematerialize. We wanted our subscribers to be able to do everything through their smartphone only. Secondly, using automated calls allows us to trace and control what happens. Yespark keeps the control over who can open a garage door or not and we can trace all the activity. This is an important additional security measure and is reassuring for our parking lot partners.”
An understanding and good technical partner
“When we were looking for a partner, we found RingRing on the internet. I called the company and explained our atypical project. I quickly received access to a trial account and a phone number that I could use to test the RingRing network”, says the start-up’s COO.
“As we are using RinRing’s API, we had some technical questions about the code. I received great reactivity from the RingRing technical support to help me to do my tests”, explains Vincent.
“After some laboratory tests, we decided to implement the solution on a small portion of our parking lots to test the solution in real-time”, continues the COO of the start-up. “To do so, we had to find an economical agreement. As all the calls we were going to place are of less than a second, a classic agreement on pay-per-minute wasn’t conceivable. We quickly agreed on a monthly fee based on the amount of calls placed. Overall, we found that the team was both reactive and understanding, in terms of technical support and contractual arrangements.”
A global implementation and satisfying results
Today, Yespark manages approximately 1.000 parking lots that represent around 20.000 spots.. “Up to 96% of the calls we make, through RingRing’s API are successful. Almost all of the un-succeeding calls are due to the bad reception of our connected objects. As those are placed on the doors of underground parking lots, they do not always have signal. We are very satisfied with our results”, says the start-up’s COO. “I would recommend RingRing to any start-up that would need to place automated calls in a classical or atypical way, as we do.”
Thank you, Vincent, for this interview and congratulations with the innovative project. We are waiting for the start-up to arrive in Belgium! To receive more information about Yespark, don’t hesitate to go visit the easiest car parking rental solution website.
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