Shared parking: BePark ready to gear up
After eight years of finetuning its business model, mobility promotor BePark is ready to grow and conquer foreign markets. Thanks to the 3-million-euros fund of the Luxembourg Faduval, it is profitable now too. So, the company is looking for investors.
Shared parking spaces
BePark exploits 28 employees and first wants to expand its services. The company’s clients are real estate owners like players of the retail sector, the hotel business, or the public sector. They can earn money by sharing their empty parking spaces with individuals and companies.
BePark manages 17.000 parking spaces, spread over 350 parking lots and garages in large cities in Belgium and France. The company developed a special technology to offer individuals access to empty spaces in the parking lots of companies or supermarkets. In the meantime, this technology is available for companies as well.
‘City of the future’
But Julien Vandeleene, the company’s CEO, has a larger vision. “We want to improve the mobility in the city of the future,” he emphasizes. “A parking space is the point of arrival and departure for a huge amount of trips, so, it can influence people’s mobility choices.”
The company, therefore, wants to develop a wide digital network, in which several means of transport are connected. It wants to create a SaaS platform – Software as a Service – available via the internet. The platform is operational and already has some 50 users. It should become a lucrative business, in the long run, Vandeleene assumes. The software promises to bring in excellent margins. In the future, it should represent 30% of BePark’s earnings.
BePark does not only want to invest in technology, it also wants its business to internationalize. Until now, the Belgian start-up was only active in Belgium and France, and almost immediately after its start-up, it tried to conquer the Spanish market, “but that was a big mistake,” Vandeleene admits. “We were not ready for it, we were insufficiently prepared, and we had chosen a country that is too far away to run it from a distance.” It wasn’t the company’s only failure either.
This year, BePark paid back the last part of its loan from the French Bouygues that finally decided not to step into the company. Today, the growing company still is in the hands of the investors from the very beginning. Recently, the Luxembourg Faduval injected 3 million euros in it. Thanks to this deal, BePark can face the future confidently.
Today, the company’s turnover is 6 million euros, and, according to the business plan, this could be 50 million within five years. By the end of next year, BePark will exploit 30 employees; in the long run, there will be 150, Vandeleene expects. The company wants to set foot ashore in Luxembourg in December; later The Netherlands and Germany may follow.
BePark’s founder has learned from his mistakes anyway. No irrational growth plans this time, but a clear focus on the business.