Written by Robert Leitch.
If you live in a big city, chances are you spend a lot of time looking for a parking spot. Average parking time in some cities can be upwards of 45 minutes in the mornings and evenings — meaning an hour and a half of wasted time each day looking for somewhere to park. Cincinnati, Ohio’s, Divine Services Corp. takes the hassle out of parking by allowing drivers to valet their car anywhere, at any time.
“Our service is for people who value their time and don’t want to drive around the block 20 times just to find a parking spot,” said Cody Bratton, president and CEO of Divine Services Corp. “Instead, you can have someone waiting for you at your destination who will take care of parking your car for you — even if that destination doesn’t have a valet parking option.”
Users access Divine Services Corp. from their smartphones, using the company’s app to send the location where they want to leave their car. The valet is waiting as users arrive, and takes their car to a secure parking area while they are at work, out to dinner or shopping. Once users are ready to leave, they notify the company again, and their car is delivered back to them. It could be the same spot where they were dropped off or blocks down the road.
“We will also soon be offering additional services to help save our users time while their car is with us,” said Bratton. “For instance we can run your car through a car wash or take it to get scheduled maintenance. Any tedious task dealing with your car, we can do for you.”
Divine Services Corp. allows users to pay each time they use the service, and soon they will be able to sign up for a monthly membership that decreases the daily rate. People who don’t use their car often can also have the company store their car in a secure lot for as long as they’d like. Businesses can hire the company to park their employees’ cars in the morning when they arrive at the office.
Bratton worked for a valet company while in high school, where he developed a passion for working with cars. He used that experience to start Divine Services Corp. more than six years ago. The company began as a traditional valet parking service, but Bratton began developing the on-demand valet service a little over two years ago.
Divine Services Corp. received funding from Queen City Angels, a southwest Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, in October 2015. The company used this funding to continue to develop and make changes to its app and to prepare for its Android launch. Bratton also sold a percentage of the company to Queen City Angels to generate enough working capital to hire a full management team as he works to expand to new markets.
“Right now we have services available in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton – with on-demand service in Cincinnati, and on-demand expansion planned for Tampa and Pittsburgh by the end of summer 2016,” said Bratton. “We’ve also got our sights set on Charlotte and Denver. Our goal is to expand into five to 12 markets over the next three to five years.”
Divine Services Corp. currently employs nine management employees, with each market having its own office managers in addition to anywhere from 50 to 100 valet drivers. With current expansion plans, the company could have anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 employees within the next three years, with its headquarters remaining in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Cincinnati is the ideal test market for any product,” said Bratton. “The city has been really great to work with and very welcoming to our company. We love being able to offer this service to the people who support us. I have experienced nothing but good things as an entrepreneur in Ohio.”