Parking app accelerates into Malaysia as tech partnership increases
Brisbane technology start-up KERB launched its parking app in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Today, the app is being used to park more vehicles in Kuala Lumpur than any other city worldwide.
KERB has accelerated the global rollout of its unique technology with the help of Austrade, which includes:
- participation in trade missions to Southeast Asia
- attending Austrade briefings and insights
- introductions to local stakeholders in Malaysia.
Smart parking app solves drivers’ headaches
Brisbane-based start-up KERB helps car drivers solve a source of major urban stress: how to find a parking spot. The KERB app also enables the owners of car-parking spaces to lease them out to individuals and corporate entities. And it enables drivers to locate available parking spaces in real time.
KERB is a growing commercial success in Asia and Europe. It is in use in Sydney, London, Dublin, Manila and Singapore, and is about to launch across North America.
Participation in Austrade mission to Southeast Asia triggers Malaysia trials
In March 2019, Austrade co-ordinated a series of events in Jakarta, Malaysia and Bangkok, called the Smart and Sustainable Cities – ASEAN Mission.
Australian companies with solutions to urban challenges joined the mission, including KERB. In Kuala Lumpur, Austrade introduced KERB to local stakeholders, including property developers, other key corporates and government agencies.
These introductions proved a breakthrough for KERB in Malaysia. Following the mission, KERB negotiated a trial program of 50 spaces with the Sunway Group’s Sunway Tower in Kuala Lumpur.
The firm ventured into other commercial and residential properties following the trial. The KERB app is now helping over 2,000 vehicles to secure a parking space in Kuala Lumpur every day of the week.
KERB says Austrade briefings and insights helped launch
KERB envisages a five-fold growth in vehicle uptake as the company expands in 2021. Chief Executive, Rob Brown credits Austrade for helping KERB to launch in Malaysia.
‘Austrade was key to opening up Malaysia for KERB,’ he says. ‘The Smart Cities Mission opened several important doors with major property and developer groups – and with potential investors.
‘The briefings and insights provided by the Austrade team and their contacts really helped us understand the local transport environment, as well as how city data is used to develop planning initiatives … [It] … gave us a real edge in the Malaysian market.’
‘Kuala Lumpur was a major landmark on our journey to opening up the world. It was where we were able to devise a solution to a significant problem that had been hindering our growth: how to securely let any vehicle into any car park, via the driver’s phone.’
Austrade promotes participation in Smart City challenge
KERB participated in a 2020 global challenge launched by the Toyota Mobility Foundation and co-developed by the Deloitte Future of Mobility Solution Centre, the City Architecture for Tomorrow Challenge (CATCH) hosted in Kuala Lumpur.
Collaboration between the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Austrade led to a briefing by CATCH organisers. It also led to KERB’s nomination as one of the participants in the competition.
The event attracted 90 technology companies and university research departments. KERB is now one of just six finalists. Each finalist’s ‘minimum viable product’ must be implemented in Kuala Lumpur, with support from local authorities and transport operators.
‘I'm very much hoping we can win it, not just for the US$500,000.00 first prize, but for the recognition premium it will generate,’ says Brown. ‘The endorsement by the City of Kuala Lumpur authorities will open all sorts of doors for us.’
Australia has two entrants among the six finalists: KERB, representing Malaysia and Australia, and Liftango. They are competing against entries from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
Australia–Malaysia tech partnership launched in 2021
KERB is seeking to expand its Malaysian presence beyond the city of Kuala Lumpur. It is currently exploring partnership opportunities with major property and retail groups in the Malaysian market.
This comes as Australia and Malaysia are broadening tech partnerships. Austrade and MDEC signed a partnership MoU in May 2021. The partnership will include a program of events and initiatives to expand collaboration between technology and digital economy businesses in Australia and Malaysia.
For more information on how Austrade can help your company access technology opportunities in Malaysia, contact Danyal Hamidon.
For Malaysian firms that want to explore Australia’s strong innovation credentials and investment environment, contact Patricia Lee.
Update (July 2021)
On July 1, KERB won the Toyota Mobility Foundation’s City Architecture for Tomorrow Challenge (CATCH). The company will use the US$250,000 prize money to introduce its congestion-reducing technology across Malaysia.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.
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To discover how we can help you and your business, visit austrade.gov.au or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 13 28 78 (within Australia).