Founded in Galway City in 2018 by Michael Furey, Ronspot is a simple solution to a complicated problem. Our original car parking mobile app was designed with three clear objectives: the first, to maximize the use of car parking spaces to ensure all spaces are occupied to the greatest possible extent, creating greater efficiency for clients. The second was to provide flexibility, visibility and equality to every Ronspot user — giving them an equal chance of securing a car park space through access to a 90-day rolling schedule. A final objective was to remove the burden of desk and parking coordination from office and facilities managers, enabling them to focus on other areas of productivity. Today, Ronspot is the only solution that addresses all of our clients’ parking, social distancing, desk, meeting and locker management needs in one single simple package.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea actually came from a problem in the market rather than us thinking of it. I was approached by a Dublin based company who asked us to build a solution to the employee parking issues they were experienced. We quickly realised the potential of the idea and took it from there. Within 6 months we had signed a number of customers around Dublin and the UK.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Its always been at the back of my mind as something I wanted to do.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I worked closely with a large pharmaceutical company in Dublin to validate the idea and the solution. This process took about 3 months and they had committed to pay for the prototype and become a long term customer. This was crucial to getting off the ground.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The global pandemic has highlighted new opportunities for Ronspot and prompted the transformation of our business model. When March 2020 saw demand for car parking management solutions disappear almost overnight, we resolved to stay one step ahead — using this time to develop new solutions for a drastically changed corporate landscape. We realised that enforced remote working brought about by Covid-19 wouldn’t disappear when the health crisis did; on the contrary, appetite for flexibility remains strong. That’s when we decided to pivot towards brand new desk management and flexwork modules. Through the power of technology, Ronspot’s desk management package stands out from competitors by seamlessly integrating social distancing support. When a Ronspot member books a desk, any desks within two metres (or another chosen distance) immediately become unavailable, protecting that team member’s safety for the entire office session. Headline building entry numbers and floor traffic can also be monitored through hardware integration, while desk sensors can provide full contact tracing history.
How have you promoted your business?
Up until recently we have depended on word of mouth growth and doing in house Search Engine Optimisation. After completing a recent funding round we are delighted to have employed a 5 person digital marketing team in Galway and hired a Senior Digital Marketing Manager.
Where do you see the business in 3 years’ time?
The future of work is constantly changing. Through Ronspot’s performance, scale and growth, it has established itself as a leader within its industry, one with the potential to evolve. Our tried and tested product version is 1.5 or above; unlike a lot of early stage companies, our solutions have been in the market for over 2.5 years and are relied on by thousands of users each day. Founded in 2018 by Michael Furey, Ronspot is a simple solution to a complicated problem. Our customisable tools make us the ideal choice for any company seeking an intuitive car park or desk management system, while our vision for the future aligns with the rising demand to work from home. Whether a company chooses a partially remote, fully agile, team-based or hybrid future, the Ronspot Flexwork tool is simple to set up, easy to use and flexible. Ronspot products scale quickly and easily because of their inherent flexibility. Our software is hosted in Dublin on the scalable Amazon Web Services (AWS) system and configured to expand resources automatically as required. Ronspot was awarded entry by Amazon into its renowned AWS Activate program and has obtained free access to the AWS system for the next two years. By tapping into resources like AWS, our aim is to grow our sales to reach €1.3m by 2022. With such a well-developed product already on the market, our focus turns to expanding our reach. Ronspot currently operates across Ireland, UK, France, Austria and the Czech Republic, with EMEA agreements formed with American Express and Novartis. We have identified huge demand for parking solutions in South America and with ambitious new marketing targets, Ronspot intends to connect with these audiences quickly. Ronspot has seen a consistently strong level of growth and global expansion in 2020 and intends to expand into other markets moving forward — all while maintaining expert customer service. We’re ready to help our clients balance their employees’ wellbeing with the most efficient use of office space, lower costs and improve productivity, all while minimising their impact on the environment.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
I would focus on building a strong diverse team. Sometimes that can be difficult until funding is available and it can seem like a chicken and egg challenge until that happens. In terms of strategy I would focus strongly on market validation as early as is possible. I have always been thought to validate these 3 pillars, Problem, Market & Solution. Don’t get caught building a product that nobody wants. Once you are happy you have the right product to sell to the right market make sure you team is diverse and your business model makes sense.
92 George’s Street Lower, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin A96VR66