I am delighted to announce that Citymapper has raised a $10M investment round led by Balderton Capital.
Citymapper is a fantastic app for public transportation in your city, offering live running information and the fastest, most up-to-date routes. The product is live in London, New York, Berlin and Paris, with more cities coming soon. It covers every form of transport: buses, underground, taxis, trains, trams, bikes, ferries and good old shoe leather!
At Balderton we have been following the company since its early days as Busmapper in 2011. We have always been impressed by the single-minded focus on product quality throughout the company, led by the founder Azmat Yusuf.
This product particularly shines in two areas which we think are crucial in an app-based world: removing friction, and distinctiveness of voice.
To remove friction, Citymapper does everything it can to reduce the time it takes to get useful results from their app. One example is the two buttons in middle of homescreen to ‘get me home’ or ‘get me to work’. Another is the notification when it is time to get off your bus.
Citymapper has also spent a lot of time creating a distinctive tone of voice and design, spending time on every word in the app. This is both direct (‘get me home’), fun and slightly eccentric (‘by jetpack’ routes home). For Londoners it has something of the personality of a black cab driver. For other cities it sounds very different – the company spends a long time getting the right wording and personality in each new city.
Such product focus has led to some impressive traction for Citymapper in London: more than half of all Londoners with iPhones have downloaded the app, despite zero paid marketing.
Almost more impressive are the spontaneous declarations of love for the app from users:
“I never thought I could love an app so much.”
“Life changing. This app really changes the way you travel.”
“Get these guys on the Queen’s birthday honours list.”
We believe that in time Citymapper will become a homescreen mobile app for any city-dweller, helping them get around their city.
Its advantages over alternatives are its incredible mobile experience, its pure focus on public transit navigation, and its localization to each city. Citymapper does one thing extremely well, which in a mobile app world we believe is the difference between success and failure. We also see a major opportunity in crowdsourcing data to provide real time information on disruptions and journey times, for which the company already receives a stack of feedback from its users every day.
Citymapper is exactly the type of disruptive, global, product-obsessed company we at Balderton want to back. I am looking forward to being part of the Citymapper journey, and feel confident that it will find the fastest path to a successful destination.