• Naomi Goez

Platz

A Philly based Peer-to-Peer platform designed to ensure you never circle the same neighborhood twice in search of parking.


When Nick Perkins, Wharton MBA ‘23, tried to curate the perfect beach day for a date with his wife only to spend 45 minutes searching for parking, he was inspired to create an on the go solution, combining Uber’s dynamic pricing with a highly targeted customer acquisition strategy, to remedy existing gaps in the space.

Leveraging the Growth of the P2P Economy to Address the Largest Cost Associated with Driving in the US


Recognizing parking as a driver’s pain point is not a novel concept, 63% of drivers say that they have avoided driving due to parking. This comes as no surprise given the estimated 64 hours per year a driver spends searching for parking alone, incurring an excess cost of $1200 annually.


Platz is a peer-to-peer platform intended to direct drivers to available parking in real-time while helping residential properties and small businesses monetize idle spaces. Its revenue model includes two streams: a 20% transaction fee incurred by the supply side (residents/ small businesses with open parking spots) and location based targeted ads.


A Crowded Space with Multiple Angles, What’s Preventing True Scalability?


The accelerated growth of direct and indirect competitors points to a healthy market demand. The market landscape is currently centered around three types of applications: P2P off-street parking (directly competing with Platz), B2B off-street parking, and city on-street parking. With such a diverse array of startups, the question becomes: why haven’t they worked?


Motivated by the success of international competitors, JustPark and Your Parking Space, Nick examined the domestic market and noticed a few key challenges preventing the achievement of a network effect, which Platz will address through a targeted go-to-market strategy and its product development. First, competition currently focuses on metropolitan areas, and while those are high in traffic, they already have plenty of parking related innovations in place. Second, none of the competitors utilize dynamic pricing (think: Uber’s fluctuating prices based on demand), which could be disincentivizing supply side users. Platz will launch a dynamic pricing algorithm in underserved markets that lack the metropolitan infrastructure: beach towns, college towns, and national parks. Additionally, Platz will target customers who already post their parking on platforms such as Craigslist and current airbnb hosts, to leverage the minimal learning curve of onboarding those already familiar with the P2P economy. Additionally, Platz will be the only platform to list spots with EV charging, in response to the consistent growth of the market. In the long run, Platz intends to work with municipal governments and transportation offices in an effort to reduce traffic and emissions.


The Founder


Nick is a first year MBA student at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. Prior to starting business school, he spent nine years serving in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces Officer (Green Beret). Nick has also pursued several entrepreneurial initiatives outside of the military, including launching a successful non-profit and working with numerous startups as a venture capital fellow. He is particularly interested in technological innovations that can solve important societal problems and hopes to use Platz as a way to help reduce traffic and carbon emissions around the world.


From the Classroom to Wharton’s Innovation Fund Implementation Award: What’s next for Platz?


Platz has gained momentum in the Wharton startup ecosystem, winning the Penn Wharton Innovation Fund Validation and Implementation Awards and getting accepted into the on campus Venture Initiation Program, VIP-C. Platz has advanced to the second round of Notre Dame’s McCloskey New Venture Competition and is currently in the semifinal round of Penn’s Startup Challenge, both of which offer a grand prize of $50,000 in non-dilutive funding.


Nick is currently working on the first Platz beta, to be launched in May in select beachhead markets, including Ocean City, MD, Dewey Beach, DE, and Stone Harbor, NJ. He is currently working on partnership strategizing, targeting firms such as RE/MAX Realty Group-Rentals, Century 21, and local PMCs. “What excites me most about Platz,” Nick shared, “is the idea that technology can transform an unremarkable slab of concrete into an income-generating asset that significantly enhances people’s parking experience.” Stay tuned for Platz’s beta launch this summer!


If you are interested in learning more about Platz, get in touch: Info@platzparking.com