MoneyParking is throwing in the towel.
This means the startup is backing down from its promise to take on San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who said MonkeyParking was illegally auctioning off parking spaces and that he would sue if it didn’t pull its iOS app from the Apple App Store by July 11.
MonkeyParking created a media storm in San Francisco when it unveiled its app, which enables motorists to bid on empty parking spaces. MonkeyParking chief executive Paolo Dobrowolny told VentureBeat two weeks ago that he was coming to San Francisco from his home in Rome to fight city hall with every banana in his arsenal.
Now, the baby-faced Dobrowolny is caving to Herrera’s threats. And gentrification-sensitive San Francisco may now breathe a sigh of relief before the next app-scandal breaks.
Dobrowolny told VentureBeat in an email that for his team, its back to the drawing board.
“We want operate in full collaboration with the City and we need some more time to schedule our flight back to San Francisco and deal with it. We are also working on the matter with our legal office so I am not able to tell you much more about it, but if you want I will keep you posted in the next days.”
Indeed, in a blog post, the MonkeyParking team laid out its reasons for throwing in their bananas:
“The bidding service on MonkeyParking has been temporary disabled in the San Francisco area. In light of the cease and desist letter that we received from the City of San Francisco, we are currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid any future misunderstandings.
Street parking is currently not a first-come-first-served process, but still a random-served one: you can go in circles for hours while a lucky driver can find a spot in a minute, right in front of you. It is an old and painful problem and we believe that drivers deserve a better solution.
Our mission is to get rid of circling the block turning a random parking process into a predictable one, saving people time while also reducing traffic congestion and generated pollution. We want to achieve our mission within the intent and letter of the law and in full cooperation with the local authorities.
We are working to avoid any possible improper use of our service and provide a positive tool for the City of San Francisco and its inhabitants. Stay tuned on monkeyparking.co, news coming soon!
The MonkeyParking Team”
MonekyParking’s app, it appears, wasn’t bearing fruit.