Hozah, the 'zero-effort parking' service provider has received an investment totalling £350,000 from a consortium of angel investors to accelerate its growth.
This investment will provide Hozah with working capital which they will use to bring their hassle-free parking payment system to multiple locations, including multi-storey carparks and large public parking sites such as universities and hospitals.
David Fowle, Managing Director of Hozah, said: "We're delighted to have received this investment, which is a real show of faith in our capability to revolutionise the UK's car park infrastructure. We look forward to using these funds to help make parking fines, frustrating apps and tickets a thing of the past."
David launched Hozah in late 2017 with co-founder Naomi Bishop. Their vision came from the complicated and often aggravating experience of car park payments. Payment systems are often unclear, and - from the carpark owners' point of view - create unnecessary administrative costs.
On the other hand, customers often receive fines for unintentionally under-paying. Hozah put the difficulties down to a matter of convenience; finding the right cash, misplacing a ticket, or simply forgetting from being in too much of a rush can disrupt the experience and result in fines.
Hozah set themselves the challenge of making parking charges as automatic as possible, creating 'zero-effort parking' for the customer and operator. Drivers sign up to their software and log in their number plate and account. Cameras scan the plate when a driver enters the car park, then Hozah's software charges the owner for the length of their stay. Many car parks have ANPR cameras already installed that can coordinate with Hozah's software, and if one doesn't they are partnered with a leading supplier, so that equipment can be easily and cost-effectively installed.
While the company is based at Sussex Innovation's Croydon hub, many of the founding team, including Fowle, are graduates of the University of Sussex. Presenting their innovation at the Sussex Innovation Centre's 21st birthday showcase last year, the team met with the University's Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell, who was so impressed that he made an introduction to the Sussex Estates and Facilities team.
"We're proud of our relationship with Sussex Innovation and the University," says Mr Fowle. "Ultimately, we're very keen to make the most of that connection, and were delighted to have the opportunity to meet the Vice-Chancellor. We've already started a conversation with the Sussex Estates and Facilities team, with a view to demonstrating the scalability of our platform across their campus parking operation."