Vallie: Nash Islam
After experiencing the pains of parking in London firsthand, this entrepreneur talks about creating an on-demand valet parking app
Name: Nash Islam
Company Name: Vallie
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 16/11/15
No. of employees: 8
Tell us what your business does:
Vallie is an on-demand valet parking app that lets drivers drive directly to their destination and not worry about where and how to park.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Robin, one of Vallie's co-founders, built a business for on-demand car washes called GoWashMyCar.com.
As I helped Robin prep GoWashMyCar for investment, we both realized that parking was a much larger and important problem to solve.
After initial research, we discovered on-demand valet parking services in the US and decided to build the same for London.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Robin is a car owner in London and I am a frequent ZipCar renter so we both know the pains of parking in London first-hand.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was CEO of G&R, Bangladesh's leading display ad network.
Robin had just graduated from Maker's Academy and launched GoWashMyCar.com
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It's why I left Google in 2012 despite having quite a good job.
How did you raise the money?
We raised a bit of pre-seed funding from friends & family to get started.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We generate revenue by charging standard parking rates of £8 / hour and £25 / day, but ours include the valet service.
We pre-purchase parking at discounted long-term rates and charge customers at short-term rates, generating a profitable margin if we keep our vallies busy.
We will roll out additional services to parking such as car washes, gas refills or car servicing.
Eventually, we will offer many car services on-demand and become Europe’s largest car services provider.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
We've faced a variety of challenges starting from engineering to hiring to insurance and more. We've overcome them by staying optimistic and focusing on solving one problem at a time.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Our first big breakthrough was finding our car park partner which then led us to signing an agreement with City of London.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Stay focused and work hard. Give your business enough time to mature and make sure you have feedback loops to collect as much customer feedback as possible.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
I want Vallie to be a billion dollar company helping car owners in cities and countries across the world.