Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Uspace expanding to HK after success in Taiwan

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Shared parking space start-up Uspace Technology Co (悠勢科技) yesterday said it is expanding to Hong Kong next year after achieving success at home, proving it is ready to venture abroad.

Since starting in the summer of 2017, Uspace has helped create more than 1,300 parking spaces in Taipei by leasing spaces during off hours.

The approach follows home-sharing app Airbnb Inc’s business model, as the company aims to connect car drivers with those who have spare parking spots, the company said.

“We believe that freeing those idle private parking spaces will resolve the parking issue in downtown Taipei,” Uspace founder and chief executive officer Allen Song (宋捷仁) told a media briefing.

Some parking space owners earn up to NT$10,132 (US$323) of extra income a month, Song said.

Hospitals, McDonald’s outlets and even Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) have participated in the Taipei project, he said.

The company expects the number of shared parking spaces across the nation to increase to 1,500 by the end of this year and swell to 13,000 next year, Song said.

The company plans to expand its business to Hong Kong next year, followed by ventures in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries, he said.

For next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, the company aims to partner with local telecom operators and use narrowband Internet-of-things technology to facilitate its service, Song said.

In Taiwan, the company employs Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) network to connect drivers with parking space owners, he said.

The 15-person company has accumulated 5,000 paying customers, with more than 60,000 transactions completed thus far.

Uspace’s business model has caught the interest of local investors, including Chunghwa Telecom and PChome Online Inc (網路家庭).

The government-owned National Development Fund (國發基金) joined a seed funding round in March.

The company is preparing another round of funding totaling NT$20 million and is encouraging new investors, such as Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設), to inject capital for its expansion, Song said.

The company is also working on a round of funding in Japan to further finance its overseas expansion, Song said.

The new funding project would not begin until the end of next year, he said, without disclosing the size of the plan.

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