SEASON 7 EPISODE 3

PITCH

find and pay for Valet and Garage Parking

ENTREPRENEUR

Wayne Johnson

ASKED FOR

$300,000 for 20%

GOT

NO DEAL

SHARK

NO SHARK

STATUS

OUT OF BUSINESS

Parking in the Washington Dc tri-state area can be a huge hassle that can turn a fun night out to eat or watch a show into a stressful event. It can add hours to the night. In bad weather it can mean standing outside in the rain, snow or freezing temperatures.

Valet services can make the process easier but that is not always available at every location.

Valpark is a quick, easy and convenient way to find a valet at over 100 locations in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Users can access valet services through the Valpark mobile app. Before they even leave the location, they can access valet services and have their car waiting for them as soon as they are ready.

How Valpark Started

Wayne Johnson, a Washington DC entrepreneur, grew up in the DC metro area knowing the challenges of trying to find parking to enjoy the sites of the city. He often went out with his friends and found himself paying a large amount of money for parking.

Either they would have to pay for hours in a parking garage when they only needed it for a couple of hours or they would pay large sums of money for a valet. Johnson and his friends would also become frustrated because most parking options only took cash – which they were carrying less and less of.

Johnson looked deeper and found that most people are carrying less cash because they are using apps. Johnson envisioned a way for him and his friends to find parking through an app that would save all his profile and payment information and that could be used anywhere they wanted to hang out. With that, Valpark was born!

Valpark on Shark Tank

Johnson brought Valpark to Shark Tank in 2012. He asked for $300,000 for a 20% stake in the company.

Johnson justified his valuation by saying that the company had $270,000 in sales the previous year. He had invested $100,000 of his own money.

He reported he had an increase in sales after adding a convenience fee of 8.5% to the user. He planned to increase revenue even more by increasing the convenience fee to 15% and splitting that between the user and the venue. He would also charge the venue $49 month.

Johnson did not own 100% of the company. He had a partner who owned 49% of the company. This made negotiating with the sharks difficult.

Johnson was unable to get a deal on Shark Tank. They had issues with the partner’s level of ownership, questioned if Valpark could be expanded beyond the Washington Metro area, and felt that competitors could easily copy the model and put him out of business.

Valpark Update After Shark Tank

Right after appearing on Shark Tank, Valpark saw a 30% increase in sales. Forbes magazine felt like it was an up and coming platform and that the sharks may have missed a great opportunity. For a while it seemed that Forbes may have been right. In 2016, Valpark was still showing an increase in revenue and was looking for tech investors.

But at the end of the day, the sharks were right. In 2018, Valpark was not showing any increase in sales or locations. The app never expanded to be available on all devices. Today, Valpark is out of business.

Although Valpark didn’t go anywhere, Wayne Johnson certainly did.

According to his Linkedin profile, Johnson cut his ties with Valpark shortly after his Shark Tank appearance. But that wasn’t the end of his investing in big ideas. He took his business and entrepreneurial skills to Clout Group, based out of Arlington Virginia. Through this company he has helped launch several restaurants and nightclubs.

Today, he is a partner at the St. Yves lounge, Kitsuen Ramen Bar and Abigail Nightclub. Although he Covid-19 pandemic has hit venues such as these, they are still up and running today.

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