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Author’s Blurb: I rely on Grab to get around most of the time as I’ve yet to own a car. With that being said, I usually arrive at events and functions much earlier than my friends or family members who drive themselves, because if it’s not traffic that they were delayed by, it’s the hunt for parking.

So whilst Grab makes my life easier minus the hassle of parking, car owners have their work cut out for them, especially in areas congested with traffic.

 The team that started KERB understands this pain all too well.

Instead of rushing to find a spot at the last minute, users are able to pre-book their parking spots before the journey via the app.

At first glance, this sounds like a concept that’s being done by some other startups like ParkEasy and JomParking.

However, those are limited to publicly available mall parking spots, whereas Kerb lets you book unused parking spaces in residential and commercial buildings directly from the individuals who own them.

Vice versa, you also get to list down your ‘free space’ to those who’d want to park there for a designated date and time—all while making a little income on the side.

This makes their closest competitor ParkIt, who also allows users to either lease or rent their unused parking spots in residential areas on a short to long-term basis.

Breaking New Ground

KERB is an Australian owned startup that recently began operations to grow their presence in Malaysia.

It was founded by Rob Brown and Matt Salmon, who both have extensive experience in international marketing, especially in the Southeast Asian region.

Vulcan Post got a hold of Harriet Harvey, KERB’s Global Business Development & Executive Director to learn more about their move.

“Malaysia has a very progressive smart city plan, its people have an appetite for new technology and parking is an issue for a huge percentage of the population, making it a perfect market for KERB,” Harriet told us.

Some of KERB’s team pictured at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit 2019 / Image Credit: KERB

So when the opportunity arose for the founders to explore Malaysian markets, the team began working overtime with developers and other property owners to leverage unused parking spaces in Malaysia.

The types of spaces they’re looking to add to their listing platform are typically owned by users that are in locations nearby transportation avenues and office spaces.

Users who put up their parking spaces to rent are labelled ‘leasers’.

“When leasers publish their parking space, they receive a call from our customer service team. We also ask for identification in order for them to stay on the platform and successfully receive bookings,” Harriet continued.

Leasers also have to make sure that a specified space is theirs to rent in the first place. If they’re renting out a space in apartment buildings, this means double checking their lease and speaking with their landlords to make sure they’re not breaching any legal requirements.

Once a listing is successfully posted, users looking to book can start searching for available spots near them and setting their budget.  

There aren’t that many spaces around, but they’ve assured us that they’re working on adding more / Image Credit: KERB

Although most of them are prices calculated per day, there are a few rates that can also be paid on a monthly basis.

Here’s where you set the days and time you need a space / Image Credit: KERB

Passive Pocket Money

“On average, a KERB user will earn RM8/day per parking space. This works out to about RM160 per month,” replied Harriet, when asked about the average income leasers can earn.

That might not look like much for some of us, but if you have more than one space that’s empty—it’s a pretty good deal.

Leasers are allowed to set their own pricing. However, KERB still has a customer service team that would monitor all new listings appropriately and fix errors.

If a leaser decides to charge too much for parking, the team will contact them and suggest a lower rate.

“The great thing about this model is that leasers can provide more competitive parking rates in their location. They can also offer great services if they like,” Harriet said.

“One leaser even offers people parking before 8AM free takeaway coffee, which is a great way to build a community and trust,” she added.

Currently, they’re working with developers and other property owners to increase the number of available spaces in Malaysia to list on their platform.

For now, this is where we’d say ParkIt has a distinct advantage over KERB, as the former has over 350 parking spaces available around Klang Valley, while the latter has about 56 available.

Bottom Line: As a non-leaser, the advantage of KERB for me would be when I end up getting a car and would have to find parking. While there’s still quite a lack of available listings in various locations on their platform, I welcome this model if only because I’m able to support a fellow citizen and get a good deal on parking while I’m at it.

  • You can read more about other parking startups we’ve written about here.

Featured Image Credit: KERB

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