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New Japanese app is like Airbnb for parking spaces

An unused parking spot could be your new way to make money (if you live in Japan).

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire, Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You're driving around the family's favorite restaurant looking for a parking spot. The kids are whining in the back seat and everyone is starving, but there's not a parking spot in sight. Sound familiar?

Japanese company Rakuten feels your pain and wants to solve that nightmare for you.

Last week, the e-commerce company launched Rakupa, a parking-space sharing service that connects the owners of unused parking spots with drivers looking to park their vehicles.

Essentially, an unused parking space can be put up for rental on Rakupa, much like how you can list an unused bedroom at home on Airbnb for short term rentals. Drivers who are registered as Rakuten members can plan one day ahead of their journey and search on Rakupa for an available space at their destination, reserve and prepay for it.

There's no word on if Rakupa will come to the west, but there are some similar apps you may have not heard of, like the UK's JustPark and the US' SpotPog.

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