Last we checked in with MonkeyParking — a mobile app that enables users to auction off street parking for cash — its CEO Paolo Dobrowolny had vowed to fight City Attorney Dennis Herrera's cease and desist order. But since then, Dobrowolny has changed his tune, as a company blog post announced today that the app has been temporarily disabled in the San Francisco area.
In the blog post, the company writes: "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."
The company then attempts to explain the problem it's trying to solve with some weak anecdotal evidence: “ you can go in circles for hours while a lucky driver can find a spot in a minute.” As a reminder, MonkeyParking is based in Italy.
On June 30, Dobrowolny told VentureBeat that he "will not take the app down" and he planned to fly to S.F. to fight the Herrera's decision. Apple had planned to remove the app by July 20.
MonkeyParking infuriated many with its business model of holding a parking space to sell to the highest bidder, usually between $5 to $20, which the city attorney called ”wholly premised on illegal transactions.”
Dobrowolny repeatedly insisted that the app was only selling information and it was legal, but based on its shutdown — temporary or not — the company must have finally consulted an attorney.
Previously: All MonkeyParking coverage on SFist.