L-R: James Allsopp and Chris Reed of ProxiSmart.

Dragons’ Den contestant secures £325k investment for cashless parking app

A North East entrepreneur who has designed an app to boost Britain’s high streets with cashless parking solutions has secured £325k investment.

Chris Reed, who featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, has secured funding from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia, and TV ‘Dragon’ Jenny Campbell, for his ParkingPerx app.

The app aims to reward consumers who spend on the high street with money off parking, using ‘smart beacons’ in car parks which recognise customers as they approach.

The funding will allow Chris’s Morpeth-based company ProxiSmart, which has partnered with cashless parking firm RingGo, roll out the system and create six new jobs in the next 12 months.

Chris explained: “I’d struggled to find the right investors and was ready to give up on the idea, but Mercia showed strong support and then the opportunity to go on Dragons’ Den came up.

“The reaction from the programme has been brilliant and demonstrated that there was a real appetite for the solution across the UK. With the backing of Mercia and Jenny Campbell, I am now ready to start deploying into live locations over the coming months.”

James Allsopp, investment manager with Mercia, added: “It is great to be able to support Chris with the roll-out of ParkingPerx.

“Chris has developed a great product that could not only help high streets but also have much wider applications.

“As the business can harvest meaningful information on the movements and habits of people in urban areas, it fits nicely into the current Smart City agenda.”

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