A Smart Parking Solution so Seamless, one can Easily Miss It
Rollet owner András Dubitz talks with the Budapest Business Journal about the startup’s smart parking system, its recent acquisition, and expansion plans.
BBJ: How did the core idea of Rollet come about, and how did your startup journey begin?
András Dubitz: The idea of Rollet came about in 2016 when electronic payments were developing rapidly, and we wanted to improve the convenience of payments vastly when driving. Since our car and its license plate are uniquely identifiable and well protected legally, Rollet essentially turns it into a giant credit card, much like many of our phones or watches.
We also realized that the system we developed is vastly superior in capability and performance to most existing parking management solutions. Many office and industrial customers such as Graphisoft Park and Audi Hungaria chose us to solve their parking pain points and the rest is history.
BBJ: How does the company’s contactless parking solution work?
AD: Rollet primarily relies on your car’s number plate; once you register in the Rollet app with your car and credit card, you can simply drive in and out of off-street parking facilities without doing anything, literally. On top of that, you get your parking ticket directly pushed to your phone, and – especially useful in Hungary – you get your VAT invoice electronically as well. Behind the scenes, we have a cloud-based backend system that powers everything from monitoring parking activity to secure payments, and ultimately customer support is available 24/7 to resolve any outlier problems that could come up.
BBJ: How many people make up the Rollet team?
AD: In our four-year history, we have had a team as large as 25, split pretty evenly between hardware/software engineering and operations. We aimed to step out into international markets in early 2020, but we all understand the reasons why we had to postpone this.
BBJ: What do you consider the most crucial milestone in the company’s history to date?
AD: We were very excited to win over our first big customers like Debrecen’s municipal parking company or Audi and learned enormous amounts from these early experiences. Rollet won Property Forum Vienna’s “Most Promising Startup” award at the end of 2019. Since then, our product has grown tremendously. Significantly, Rollet was recently acquired by Star Park Group, Hungary’s largest private parking operator, leading to synergies that can accelerate our growth much further.
BBJ: Are there concrete plans regarding expansion? Where can one currently use the system apart from Westend?
AD: Rollet is available in more than 20 parking facilities in Budapest and Debrecen, and you might encounter it at office or industrial locations as well. However, it’s so seamless you are more likely to miss it. Westend has been a great partner in rolling out seamless parking, and we plan to continue the efforts to bring smart parking to more high-traffic locations to reduce congestion and wasted time.
This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 5, 2021.
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