This article was written by Khamila Mulia , originally published on KrASIA
Motorcycles are the dominant mode of transportation in Indonesia. They represent 84.5% of all active motor vehicles in the country. However, there are few parking spaces for motorcycles in central business districts, so riders leave their bikes by the road or on pavements even though these practices are illegal. This is a serious problem in Jakarta. It is one of the reasons that lead to heavy traffic congestion in the city.
To address this problem, a group of engineers and entrepreneurs - Andru Surya Wijaya Jo, Bahagia Waluyo, Kemas Ilham Akbar, and Kemas Riza Aulya - founded a company called Soul Parking in 2019 to develop a compact motorcycle storage (CMS) system that stacks bikes on top of each other for efficient storage.
"Elevated parking systems are common in countries like Japan and China, but we are the first to make this structure for motorcycles. The storage can be installed in narrow areas so it maximizes land productivity," Soul Parking chief business officer Andru Surya Wijaya Jo told KrASIA. One parking structure consists of eight stories built on an area of 50 sqm, and can accommodate up to 240 motorcycles. The design and structure of each installation are customizable, depending on the area and conditions of the site. The startup builds all of its CMS systems, and develops the relevant technology in-house.
"My background is in construction engineering. I met Bahagia Waluyo at my previous company. He's also an engineer who has years of experience making elevated parking structures for cars. Meanwhile, both Ilham and Riza have worked at parking management companies, so they have expertise in this line of business," Jo said.
Soul Parking co-founder and chief business officer Andru Surya Wijaya Jo. Photo courtesy of Soul Parking.
Soul Parking is currently available at 20 locations in Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta. Its CMS systems are placed in busy areas near malls and office buildings. Aside from building these storage facilities, the company also created a proprietary operating system that manages its software and hardware components. It digitizes existing parking facilities, adding a barrier gate system, barcode scanner, and web dashboard.
The startup has three types of clients: property and land developers; individual landowners with unused land, usually near train stations or offices; and government sector entities. "We work closely with the Ministry of Transportation for licensing matters. The agency also supports us in location mapping, because they have data on congested areas in Jakarta," Jo said.
He went on to explain how CMS works for end customers. Users can locate the nearest parking facilities through Soul Parking's app. At these locations, the company offers a service that is similar to valet parking - scan a barcode, and an operator will meet the user to pick up the motorbike and place it in storage. When a user is ready to retrieve their motorbike, they can use the "early checkout feature" in Soul Parking's app so that their vehicle will be set for pickup when they arrive at the storage facility.
"Those who don't install the app can still park at our locations. They just need to take a parking ticket at the gate and our operators will take care of the rest. We offer cashless payments through many e-wallet platforms, like GoPay, Ovo, and Dana," said Jo.
Parking rates start from IDR 2,000 (USD 0.14) per hour. Soul Parking also has packages for office employees which start at IDR 6,000 (USD 0.42) for 12 hours and IDR 140,000 (USD 9.83) for a month. These match the average parking rates for motorcycles in Jakarta. All locations are equipped with security cameras, and each vehicle is insured, making the service safer than on-street parking.
Soul Parking has two lines of business - a profit-sharing system between the company and its clients shared with clients with a minimum contract of ten years, and the sale of installations at prices that depend on storage capacity.
"For the first model, we take 70% to 80% of profits for the first five years and 50:50 for the next five years. But clients don't need to pay for any other extra fees," said Jo. He added that the company has been generating profit since day one.
Soul Parking was among the ten finalists of the second Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Indonesia Demo Day that was held on December 21.
Going forward, Soul Parking plans to add locations throughout Java and eventually the rest of Indonesia. The startup will continuously upgrade its storage and mobile app. Jo did not rule out the possibility to create elevated parking structures for cars in the future. "Parking is a necessity for urbanites. A flexible parking system like this does not only benefit clients and customers. It can also be a solution to reduce traffic congestion in the long run," Jo said.
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