[Accelerator Interview] Mobile App-Based Shared Parking Service Platform, ‘Modu Company’

2021.2.24

1. Overview of Modu Company

Modu Company runs “Modu Parking”, an online parking platform that provides information about parking lots, shared parking and mobile parking payment service. 

Modu Company started a shared parking service for the first time in the nation in 2013 and has been providing shared parking service ever since across the nation including Seoul, Busan and Bucheon. Using Modu Company, the users can share residential and private parking spaces and parking operators can sell parking vouchers to the users.

The users can conveniently use shared parking spaces by paying for them through a mobile app. The Modu Parking app offers information about shared, affiliated, public, private, restaurant and café parking lots across the nation through various web portals and navigations apps like Naver, Kakao and T Map.   

Modu Parking is also trying to provide a smart parking service that integrates real-time parking management infrastructure with IoT parking sensors and parking management devices. We are also planning to serve as the hub of parking service by connecting car sharing service, EV charging service, auto OEM businesses and other relevant industries.

2. Company Background

I wanted to start a business my own but wanted to something that could solve inconveniences and unfairness in our society because that would motivate me more to keep the business moving. 

The shortage of parking spaces has always been something I’ve felt inconvenient as a driver. Various car-related social agendas like autonomous driving and smart cities were being discussed increasingly but the parking management market continued to stay the same and didn’t seem to be evolving.

The inefficient ways such as using paper parking vouchers, paying parking with cash and having to go to the ATM to get cash to pay for parking went on and drivers often had to park their cars illegally due to inevitable circumstances. 

I believe that a mobile service that provides comprehensive information about parking spaces and that allows the users to pay for those parking spaces through a mobile app could have a great impact. I quickly started developing the service and finally launched mobile shared parking platform, Modu Parking in 2013.

3. Modu Company’s Strengths and Differentiating Factors

Various auto-related companies are competitively launching online shared parking platforms but we look at things differently. Our first priority is to contribute to solving social problems.

We are currently investing more than 80% of our resources and workforce into our shared parking service but the sales from this service only account for 10% of our total revenue. We could have increased our sales if we expanded our business into the e-commerce market. 

But shared parking is our identity and business purpose we must protect and fulfill. 

There have been difficult times but we were able to continue our business because we believed what we do is the most essential work in the parking management market.

The shared parking service we’ve developed over the year with a clear sense of duty has become the strength of Modu Parking. Most commercial parking lots are located by main roads or near shopping malls and entertainment facilities.

Drivers can benefit greatly by using our service which provide access to resident-priority parking spaces. The owners of residential parking spaces can profit by sharing their parking spaces which had no economic value.

We are constantly adding hidden commercial and individually-owned parking spaces to our network of parking spaces so our users can have more opportunity to park their vehicles.

We are constantly bringing in demanders and suppliers to our platform to operate a virtuous cycle and this is the share parking ecosystem we are trying to accomplish.

4. Most Memorable Moment?

The most memorable moments for us is when we had our first customer.

After months of prototyping, we had finally launched our service and when our first customer signed up for our service, even though it was late in the afternoon, we visited that customer and took a photo with the customer.

We also cherish the day we first had our workshop as a team and customer conferences where we were able to hear experiences our customers had using our service and their heartwarming words of support and encouragement. 

5. Business Accomplishments

Out of all the parking service platforms in Korea, we provide the largest amount of information on parking lots including shared and affiliated parking lots. We provide information on approximately 55,000 parking lots across the nation and we officially provide them through web portals and navigations apps like Naver, Kakao and T Map. 

We have also signed shared parking business agreements with 31 districts and we are offering approximately 15,000 shared parking lots including resident-priority parking lots and individually-owned parking lots in Seoul, Busan and Bucheon. Also, more than 1,000 affiliated parking lot operators are supplying parking lots through Modu Parking. And through Modu Parking, information on parking lots is accessed by more than 600,000 users, 8 million times a month.   

6. What Inspires You While Running a Business?

The feedback from our customers and business partners. And when we feel the impact of our business on the market, we monitor the impact and our future directions and we draw new strategies. We closely monitor the trend changes in relevant markets and our competitors. But most importantly, since we see immediate effect of our business decisions on VOC, log data and sales, we try to analyze those data objectively and make strategic decisions for our future direction.

7. Advice for Those Preparing to Start a Business

“Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it”.

After repeating this 1,000,000 times, if you still want to do it, then do it.

Nobody is born into business. I don’t think you should hold off thinking “Oh, I should start a business when I’m ready.”

If you are determined to take on any hardship or challenge, you are ready. Everything else will need to be experienced and learned as you go along.

If you want to minimize trial and error, join a team that is on a growth trajectory. You’ll learn so much during the growth process.

But if you decide to join that kind of team, focus on learning and building relationships instead of your position.

Think of life as a marathon and about the meaning of experiences you will have. Lastly, if you are thinking about when to begin, think about “If not now, when” instead of “If not”.

8. What Are Your Business Plans and Vision for the Future and Your Thoughts on ZER01NE?

We’ve had many up and downs but our first priority has always been our customers and we’ve become a market leader.

As a key player in the mobility service market, we will continue to innovate our parking services. If you are interested in or have questions about our business plans and vision, join us!

ZER01NE is an amazing program. It’s also a great opportunity to develop a strategic relationship with Hyundai Motor Group. 

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