Japan’s Airbnb for parking spaces ‘Akippa’ fundraises from DeNA and angel investors



This is the abridged version of our original article in Japanese.

Osaka-based Galaxy Agency, the startup that operates online peer-to-peer parking lot sharing platform Akippa and several online job sites, announced today it has fundraised from DeNA (TSE:2432) and several angel investors including Shokei Suda, co-founder of Japanese internet service company Enigmo (TSE:3665). Details of the investment have not yet been disclosed but it’s likely be several hundred thousand US dollars. This follows their previous funding of 65 million yen (about $650,000) from Japanese investment firm Jafco back in September 2012.

Akippa helps customers find an available parking space online. When you book a time slot for it using your desktop or smartphone, you will be allowed to park your car there by paying up to 500 yen ($5) a day. It also allows parking lot owners to easily manage their venues via the platform as well.

At the time of its launch back in April, Akippa started offering over 30,000 available parking lots nationwide. Using the funds raised at this time, the company plans to intensify efforts to acquire new users, such as by offering discount codes to their existing users when their friends sign up for the service.

Galaxy Agency CEO Genki Kanaya explained how they will proceed with the business:

We’ll be focused on providing more parking lots in areas in high demand as well as user acquisition. […] Our platform is a web app for now, but we’re planning to hire several engineers to develop native apps for mobile. We’ll introduce an iOS app early next month, and an Android version will also follow soon.

The company is planning to partner with car-rental and car-sharing companies because their typical users have no parking space at home but frequently use rental or sharing services for short outings. It will be interesting to see how they will fare in the shared-economy industry.