Edmonton startup ‘Stashii’ offers solution to parking woes
A startup born of a need for more space in growing cities already has more customers than it can accommodate and it’s only been in operation for three weeks.
Ismail Attitalla got the idea for Stashii when he realized he didn’t have enough space to store extra items but didn’t want to buy a storage locker in an industrial park.
Instead, he stored his boxes with family or friends that had space to spare.
When he was talking to friends, he realized his idea was transferable to vehicles as well — both for long term storage and daily parking.
“If we just take a look at the example of Century Park, there’s a four-year waiting list to get paid parking. A lot of individuals want to park, but they can’t find the space.”
Stashii helps residents realize the potential of their space.
“Stashii is a peer-to-peer parking and storage marketplace. We help people generate extra income by renting out their spare space to people who are in need.”
Ahmed Abbas uses the LRT for work and signed up as a potential renter early. He said parking at the south Edmonton Century Park lot is challenging, and without Stashii his options are limited.
“Most likely either coming a lot earlier or walking or something like that and those would cost you a lot more money and time.”
He’s hopeful a nearby resident will rent their driveway to him while they’re away at work. He’s been waiting a month.
“We already have over 15 listings in Edmonton and we have a lot more renters,” Attitalla explained. “Right now we have more demand than supply.”
Potential hosts could turn a pretty penny. They set their own prices and negotiate a contract with renters, determining where they can park and when.
“Right now it’s about $50 to park here with the city,” Abbas explained. “With Stashii I was looking to pay anywhere up to $100.”
While $100 per month is about average, one customer is so desperate for a good place to put his car, he’s willing to spend $300 a month.
Stashii charges an additional 15 per cent on top of the homeowner’s fee to the renter.
Attitalla said it’s a win-win situation for drivers and hosts.
“They start generating income. The renter starts benefiting from economical parking right next to the LRT.”
Commuters at Century Park appeared willing to give the startup a try.
“I think it wold be a very interesting idea all in all. More parking is always great for the city, right?” Clayton Brandridge said.
“I used to park here when this was brand new and the whole thing was free. But as time goes by they keep making the free part smaller and smaller and you have to be here be 6:30 a.m. to catch a spot,” LRT rider David Maldonado said, as he stood in the cold waiting for a ride home.
“So it would definitely be more convenient and something I would do.”
Attitalla said it’s not just Century Park where drivers need to rent driveways or garages. He suggested the Rogers Place arena district is another area where parking is tough to come by.
Like Uber or Airbnb, hosts and renters are able to rate each other, so others know what kind of interaction they’ll have.
All payments are done through Stashii’s website.
“There’s no awkward exchanges of cash, you simply plug in your credit card when you do find a listing and the payments are automatically taken every month from the renter and deposited into the host’s bank account. So there’s no chasing payments,” Attitalla said.
Attitalla said his startup is the first of its kind in Canada, but has been proven successful in other countries, including the United States.
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