Local paid parking software developer iPark has set its sights on expansion overseas as it consolidates its position in the local market.
The West Perth-based technology company, which two months ago secured deals with the cities of Bunbury and Fremantle, has recently tendered for a UK contract and is hoping to sign a lucrative deal in China.
It also continues to target opportunities in South East Asia.
In the UK iPark has teamed up with another Perth company, PSU International, which develops backend financial systems for councils, to tender for a three-year contract with the City of Manchester.
The $400,000 contract is for a cashless parking payment system, as well as a residential permit parking system.
iPark managing director Adam Broadhurst said the system, where motorists pay for their parking using mobile phone technology, was attracting strong interest across Europe and in the UK.
He said he expected the Manchester bid to be competitive.
Several other companies provide a similar service in Europe and all are likely to have applied for the Manchester contract.
The iPark/PSU consortium has also teamed up with UK company Paybeam, which is about to sign an exclusive licensing deal to distribute the iPark/PSU product in the UK.
Paybeam is run by British entrepreneur Eva Pascoe, who is credited with opening the world’s first Internet cafe more than 10 years ago in London.
Mr Broadhurst said iPark was also on the verge of signing a contract with a Chinese distributor, Abletech.
Abletech is a Chinese-based parking consultant to councils. It also sells parking-related equipment.
Mr Broadhurst acknowledged that, while China was a complete greenfields market, it had the potential to be very lucrative.
Like its economy, the Chinese parking market is considered to be one of the fastest growing in the world.
In terms of parking revenue, Mr Broadhurst said it was currently ranked 12th in the world, however it is predicted to reach the top five within the next five to six years.
“The beauty of China is that if you are in the position to own a vehicle, you are likely to be very affluent or have good political connections. In that case you are also likely to own a mobile phone,” he said.
Mr Broadhurst said paid parking was not common in China, which meant there was little use of parking meter technology.
But with the dramatic uptake of technology in China, he said, there was a significant opportunity to leapfrog existing systems.
iPark is also doing due diligence on a Malaysian car park developer interested in its technology but is yet to sign a deal.
In Singapore, iPark has teamed up with a local company to tender for a two-part parking enforcement and cashless pay system contract.