SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — As the value of parking lots is growing thanks to the introduction of state-of-the-art technology, large companies and IT startups are making a string of investments in companies involved with parking services.
SK E&S Co., the energy unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, acquired a 47 percent stake in cloud-based smart parking solution company Parking Cloud for 178.5 billion won (US$150 million) last month, becoming one of its largest shareholders.
On Dec. 10, car-sharing company SoCar acquired Modu Company, which runs an online parking platform “Modu Parking” in an equity exchange format.
Kakao Mobility Corp. also took over a 100 percent stake in unmanned parking lot operator GS Park 24 for 65 billion won early this month.
Not to be outdone, mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. made an equity investment in a parking lot operator HiParking in September.
Kakao Mobility’s Kakao T parking service provides a variety of parking-related services, including predicting whether parking spaces are full and a guide to alternative parking lots, using artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and data.
The parking lot control system sold by Parking Cloud can recognize the vehicle number plate automatically using cameras while enabling payment through a mobile app.
Parking lots are going beyond the limits of simple parking spaces towards bases for various mobility services. The parking lots operated by Modu Company plan to allow car-sharing service users to lease empty parking spaces.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)