Innovative parking app piques dragons’ interest | Dragons’ Den

Innovative parking app piques dragons’ interest | Dragons’ Den


I don’t think there’s a week goes by
without some sort of headline
which tells us how badly
the high street’s doing.
And we think we’ve got
the silver bullet.
And dad-of-four Chris already
has at least one backer
outside the Den.
My eldest daughter,
she’s incredibly supportive.
She wrote me a little note
which said, “You’re an inspiration.”
I’m welling up now,
so just be careful.
Hello, Dragons.
My name is Chris Reed.
I’m the founder of
ProxiSmart Ltd.
I’m here looking for an investment
of £80,000 in exchange
for 32% in equity.
Now, then six out of ten
town centre businesses
cite car parking
as the biggest barrier to trade.
Why? Because it’s a long established
pain point for consumers.
Have you ever had to rush back to
your car because your ticket
was about to expire?
Have you ever had to queue
to validate your ticket, just so
you can get out of a car park?
Even the current crop of
pay by phone options have got you
scratching around looking for
a location code, or worse still
you’re shouting down the phone
at a voice recognition robot
which just doesn’t understand
a Geordie accent.
We’ve created a multi-award-winning
solution which removes
all of these issues
and we call it Parking Perks.
Parking Perks offers consumers
hassle-free cost-free car parking
and we use this as leverage to
uplift footfall, sales and loyalty
in offline town centre businesses.
So how does it work?
Well, we use smart beacons
like these, which we deploy
in and around car parks
and parking spaces.
When you arrive at a car park
a wireless handshake
between the beacon
and your smartphone triggers
a proactive message –
it’ll say something like,
“Hello, Deborah, welcome to York
Street car park.
“Are you parking
your…Ford Fiesta?”
And you simply tap yes.
Yeah, no…
You can manage your parking event
and be on your way
in under ten seconds.
And best of all it can also be free,
because when you make qualifying
purchases at participating merchants
in the town centre, you will earn
a credit that you can use
to reduce or eliminate the cost
of your parking.
With your help and your investment
we’re looking to change
the way you stay and the way you pay
for your car parking.
Thank you, I’ll take any questions.
A mobile phone app which boosts
high-street spending whilst
saving you money on parking
is the offering from Chris Reed.
Chris is seeking £80,000
in return for a 32% share
of his parking business.
Jenny Campbell is first
to take the concept
out for a spin.
Chris, hi.
By the way, mine’s a Jaguar.
Before you ask it’s not a Fiesta.
It’s a neat idea.
Thank you. Thank you.
You drive in the car park and your
phone suddenly goes,
“Bleep-bleep,
you’re in this car park.
“Do you want to use this app to park
today and do you want to use
“the vouchers that you earned
in McDonald’s?” Yeah. Yes. Yes.
Thank you very much. Done.
Absolutely. This is exactly
what it’s all about.
I just need to download the app
and off I go. OK.
Absolutely.
And what is your background?
Well, I’ve been in software
primarily
for the last sort of 25 years or so.
I took a business to a successful
trade sale, to a PLC.
How much for? 2.2 million.
How much of that was yours?
500,000.
OK, good.
Unfortunately, the next business
I set up,
which again was in software,
became a victim of the recession.
OK. And how much of your 500,000
did you lose? All of it.
Whoa. Gosh. Yes.
So, it’s been a tough
couple of years.
This business is kind of my phoenix
from the flames.
Chris is no stranger to success
or failure
and a resilient entrepreneur
generally strikes a chord
amongst the Dragons.
Now Deborah Meaden wants to find out
more about his latest venture.
Chris, just so I understand
where the business is at the moment,
is it developed, is it in use?
We’ve completed effectively
a pilot of the solution,
up in God’s country, up in
the North East, in Sunderland.
What we did is, we tested amongst
the merchants and the consumer.
So amongst the merchants,
45 businesses we interviewed
in the survey, 37% say they would
contribute towards parking.
OK.
So you did a trial, 45 businesses.
Yeah. And 63% said
they wouldn’t sign up.
Why?
Good question.
Probably most significant, I guess,
would be the bigger nationals
who have maybe a proprietary
loyalty system.
So whilst the local managers
of those that we approached
thought it was a great idea.
As soon as that sort of decision
went up through the chain of command
they were looking at it thinking,
“Well, why would I reward somebody
“with money off the parking
when we can stick some money
“on the loyalty card
or whatever it might be?”
That’s a really important point.
It is, yeah.
How do you overcome that?
Well, the plan is to build momentum
from the small, independent shops
within a particular location.
Get enough of those signed up
and then we believe that a given
tipping point when enough people
are spending through these platforms
to earn their awards
that the nationals
would have to take notice. OK.
Chris is confident that he can
generate sufficient momentum amongst
the smaller stores to convince
the high-street big boys
to get on board.
And Tej Lalvani wants to find out
how much headway he’s made
with those other key players –
the car park operators.
Chris, have you had conversations
with car parks?
Have you got any one of them
committed to deploying this?
Good question. We had two
city centres committed to it.
Unfortunately, we had an investment
lined up which didn’t quite work
and that kind of stopped things
moving. So, that fell through.
That fell through. So, today,
if you were to get the investment,
are those contracts still available?
We’d have to revisit them.
I’ll have to be honest.
How much value were those
contracts worth?
We estimate that each location
was worth between £100-250,000
per year.
Chris, can I just unpick something?
Sure, certainly.
£250,000 revenue to you.
Yeah. So how much is the car park
that you’re looking at here…
How much does that take
in terms of revenue a year?
Well, we’re looking at the turnover
for the location as a whole,
not one car park.
OK, so your £250,000 revenue
is for an entire city
and location. Yes.
It’s not for one car park. No.
Right.
Deborah Meaden is left disappointed,
as her questioning
reveals a much more modest potential
return than originally thought.
Will a tech-savvy Peter Jones
set aside the forecasts
and predict profits
in this parking app?
Chris, I’m going to be really quick
with this,
because I really do like it.
And yet, I think you are
so up against it.
Parking is moving towards
full automation,
full tracking reg recognition.
That is where this market’s going.
I don’t believe in Britain
in six to seven years’ time
there will be a car park that will
not have reg registration tracking.
That reg recognition now is being
deployed across seven regions.
It’s a very big contract,
taken on by two very big players.
Without joining forces with them
with regards to your app,
I don’t believe you’ve got
a business.
For that reason, I’m out.
A major setback for Chris
as the Den’s technology titan
dismisses his vision for the future
of city centre parking.
Is Deborah Meaden
any more inclined to green-light
the Geordie entrepreneur’s plans?
Chris… I…
I don’t like it.
OK.
I did like it and then I went quiet
and I thought about it.
And I thought,
shopping has already changed.
And anybody who thinks
that it’s going to go back
to city centres is wrong.
What they are having to rethink
is, “What is a city centre now?”
I’m not sure that parking
is part of that,
so I think you’ve got
an in-built obsolescence.
We absolutely recognise
that parking as a market
will shrink. Parking space
in city centres,
from an environmental point of view,
it’s something we’re trying
to sort of reduce.
So part of our development road map
is to build a sister application,
which we’ve codenamed very cleverly
Travel Perks, which basically uses
the same model, but rewards
city centre spending
with reduced public transport fares.
We believe that that’s potentially
an even bigger opportunity.
I completely get that.
I cannot tell you how much
conversation is going on to say,
“We actually don’t want loads
of cars.”
You know, “We can’t have this.
The environment can’t take it.”
And although you’re thinking
about that and you’re a smart guy,
so I can see why
you’re thinking about that,
it’s not what
you’re standing here today
offering me as an investment.
Because of that, I can’t invest.
So I’m out.
Thank you for your feedback.
Further disappointment for Chris
as a second Dragon
walks away from the deal.
Will supplement supremo
Tej Lalvani
be prepared to swap
multivitamins for multi-stories?
Chris, it’s a slick idea.
I like it. It simplifies things,
which is good, but I think
the real issue is that
you don’t have one contract.
You don’t have any established data
to show us it’s working.
And you need the capital
to scale that across the country.
I think if you had that,
that would make sense.
I think it’s a bit early.
Because of those reasons
it’s going to be challenging for me
to make an investment today.
So I’m out.
Chris, you’ve made it
very complicated.
It’s not complicated.
Well, maybe it’s complicated for me.
Whether it’s for the merchants,
whether it’s for
local authorities, the motorists.
You’ve got all these different
components, and today’s world,
people want simplicity. And if
I’m going to invest in something,
it’s its simplicity.
And for that reason I’m not
going to invest and I’m out.
A third and fourth Dragon have
shut the barriers to investment.
This entrepreneur’s hopes
of getting his business
back on the road now rest solely
with Cash Point Queen
Jenny Campbell.
Chris, I don’t think
it’s complicated at all.
Complex… Yes. ..but that doesn’t
mean that it’s complicated.
Jenny thinks it’s very simple, so
it’d be easy for her to invest.
No, I didn’t say that, Touker.
I said it was complex,
but not complicated,
and I could understand it,
even if you couldn’t.
I did run a business that was
complex in terms of
cards in machines gathering money
into a big pot, divvying it all up.
So I get it.
So why has it taken a year since
your last investor dropped out?
You still haven’t got it
any further.
That’s a very good question.
You keep saying that.
Yeah, I know, well…
I’ve had different reasons from
different investors
as to why they’ve not wanted to
invest.
It’s been a frustrating process.
Compare it to going on a date.
I’ve been on lots of dates.
Have you? Yeah, and I’ve not
got married yet, so.
Oh, my God.
I’m not sure where to take
that line of questioning.
That’s thrown me completely, now.
Right.
And you haven’t been able to find
that money
through friends or family
since then?
Well, I’m from a council estate
in the North East,
not many of my friends
have got 80K.
This is a hard one to climb,
isn’t it?
Mm-hmm.
But I like it.
So I’m musing…
Do you own the business 100%?
I own 91%.
You’ve learned how to make money
and learned how to lose it.
And you’ve brought an idea
that might have legs.
Might have legs.
Let’s see if we can
make this work, then.
I will offer you
all of the money…
for 45.5% of your business.
Ie, equal partners with you.
Do you want to
go and talk to the wall?
The £80,000 Chris’s business
so desperately needs
is within touching distance,
but the price demanded by
Jenny Campbell is high –
almost half of his company.
Time to seek the advice of
someone… What do you think?
..or more accurately something
that’s seen and heard it all before.
The wall’s an idiot, by the way,
he said no.
But I said, yes. We’re on a date!
A monopoly on success for Chris,
whose free parking app
has now passed Go…
Appreciate it.
Well done. Thank you.
..and collected £80,000.
He leaves the Den
with the backing of a Dragon
who appears the perfect match
for both him and his business.
Well, I didn’t get dressed up
for nothing.
Delighted to get the investment.
Touker didn’t quite get it,
but Jenny certainly did and I think
she’ll bring a lot of value
and a lot of experience
that I’m looking for.
Jenny, I’m so happy
I’m going to get free parking
for the rest of my life.
That’s going to be a tough one.
Anyway, I hope he doesn’t think
we’re going on a date in a car park.
That took a turn I wasn’t expecting.

100 thoughts on “Innovative parking app piques dragons’ interest | Dragons’ Den”

  1. Just visiting the comments to see if anyone's pointed out that complex is a synonym for complicated.

  2. I must be dreaming, I mean did someone edit this video? Surely Jenny didn't actually make an investment surely.

  3. It doesn't solve the TRUE ISSUE of parking: lack of SPACES esp on the streets!! Doesn't matter how quick you can settle the car, doesn't matter if it's free!!

  4. The ignorant Dragon who took this on is clearly a total Idiot. I have never paid to park in a carpark and I never will. All carpark so called contracts are NULL and VOID. There is no such contract to be had until you put the money into a machine and that is the only time you are in contract. AFTER you have paid into the machines. until then. There is no contract. This man is fueling the scam on the public, and the Dragon has no clue of the law..

  5. This has nothing to do with the psilocybin mushrooms that I consumed earlier, but I wonder what the temperature is in that building.

  6. Alright, so we're all here because we've been on a Dragons' Den binging spree and we're finally at the end of the road. Jenny has invested. Pack it up boys, it's time to go home.

  7. You know where this app would work for the transport industry for parking in city's doing deleiverys we always get done and penalised

  8. Jenny probably thinking every time I pull my Wonga out the Queen normally wearing sunglasses coz my pound notes never see daylight and just the other week I nearly got arrested for breaking into a £10 note which I needed change for car park lol
    Lets give him cheque and hope it don’t bounce lol

  9. Those dragons shocked faces weren’t because of the idea she invested but purely because she’s actually made an investment in the dragons den

  10. My biggest concern about this product is the fact that it is ILLEGAL to use your phone while driving. So that automatically makes this an obsolete app.

  11. I think Jenny liked the guy, coz she was more excited to hear him being single than she was about the business. Or else she was out way before.

  12. This Geordie lad conducted himself fantastically in the face of a lot of criticism. He is a credit to himself and the area. Well done that man!

  13. After the guy walks out he gets a phone call.. Hey, its me Jenny. Didnt think i was serious did ya? Lol.. ofc im out 🌝

  14. You could fill a mini pool with the sweat out Geordie friend had going there… great guy though seems pretty open … hope his business does well.

  15. Jenny didn't finally invest in a business. She justed wanted a bang. That dude gave her his sweaty balls in her saggy punani

  16. The pitches always make me cringe, “so how does it work” Just be natural go in explain what it is don’t sound like it’s been rehearsed about 1000 times

  17. JENNY: "and for that reason, i will offer you all the money"…….wait what. did i hear that right. even the other dragons are shocked XD

  18. After toukar failed to offer an investment the entrepreneur certainly knew his fate he probably started to Walk to the lift. Until jenny shock the world 🌏 and did the undoable

  19. Well I disagree that number plate recognition should be allowed, I'm sure it's not allowed under European law that is in breach of my privacy rights, why should a parking company know about me and where I live that is a privacy and security issue, and should never be allowed. I'm sure the DVLA would be in breach of contract with their customers.

  20. My solution to this business would be scrap the idea of the sensors and ask these parking operators to share the information collected by the registration scanners to link with his app.

  21. What a date ! And what a price ! But I saw a real man and I think Jenny did too. And together the business may just turn out to be that. A good strong decent Geordie. I like him too.

  22. You idiot guys think Jenny doesn't have money, may I remind everyone that she's worth 30 million pounds.

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