Elias Pelcastre

Arriv.io, a parking app that helps you find a spot in Mexico City

Arriv.io is a relatively new app for iPhone and Android that wants to save users the hassle of finding a parking space in one of the most chaotic cities in the world: Mexico City. Be it a lot, or valet parking, this free solution helps you find, and not only that, guides you to the closest spot, as well as the cheapest option available.

At times promoted as the Uber of parking, Arriv.io is “a Mexican idea with US funding” – a founding member of the ride-hailing company is behind the startup as investor and one of the coaching forces, joined by ex-PayPal COO Carey Kolaja and billion-dollar-companies tech investor Monu Joseph.

According to founders Joy Sen and Robin Reyes Arriv.io launched in October as a beta and was released to the wider public in January. The app has generated over a million pesos in transactions ($55,000) and currently works with 30 parking lots and two valet parking in areas like Polanco, Roma, and Santa Fe.

Arriv.io is adding roughly two operators a week in different parts of Mexico City and has even struck deals with major US operators in California´s Orange County to mark the expansion of the service into American territory.

The app just works; launch Arriv.io and you´ll be presented with a map and the different lots or valets the service offers. After you create a user with an email account and a password, you´re asked to enter a credit card – the app won´t stop bothering you with a pop-up until you do –, and your car details (plates and physical characteristics.)

Now, select your closest, and most convenient spot, and perform a check-in. That way you will let the operator know your next to arrive (hence the name Arriv.io), and they´ll be waiting for you. Either the valet will be there to take your car, and save you the 30-minute search that typically takes to find a parking space in Mexico City, or you´ll get an (almost) guaranteed space at a parking lot, which people who live in the city know get full at peak times.

Same way, you do a check out to anticipate your departure. That eliminates the half-an-hour hold outside a restaurant for the valet to spring for your car and get it from wherever it´s parked. A receipt will be delivered straight to your connected email account after you check out, so you can keep an eye on your finances.

Unlike Uber, you get to delete a credit card, and your bank details aren´t eternally stored by Arriv.io. (They are managed by a secure third party.) The current “downside” is that, to request a tax-purposed invoice, you have to ask manually for it in the form of an email via the Contact CEO tab in the right side menu. That will change soon thanks to an update, which will also bring rewards for sharing the app with friends. (Update: the sharing feature is now live.)

And in the hamburger menu, you´ll also find your history and a helpline. Queries are dealt with swiftly, and refunds “are handled on a case by case basis within 14 days of the transaction.”

Arriv.io may seem simple at first but comes to fill a hole in the parking needs of one of the biggest cities on the planet. It sure is a nice alternative to the well-known (and hated) franeleros or unlicensed valet parking that illegally works the streets of the city.

You can download the app for iPhone or Android here, and please leave your comments below.

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