Public transport planner Citymapper raises $10m

Balderton Capital leads Series A backing of popular app

Citymapper, an app which allows users to plot journeys around London, New York, Berlin and Paris, today announced it has completed a $10m round of Series A funding, led by tech-focused European venture capital firm Balderton Capital.

Founded in 2011 by Azmat Usuf, Citymapper has released an iPhone app which plots the quickest route between two destinations taking into account all forms of public and private transport, including bus, rail and underground networks, driving and walking.

Since its release in 2011 as Busmapper, the Citymapper app has gained significant traction – the company claims more than half of Londoners with iPhones have downloaded the app, despite zero marketing spend.

The London-based start-up’s app is also available in New York, Berlin and Paris, and Citymapper said in a blog post that the latest $10m funding would help launch the app in more cities across the globe.

The Series A backing was led by Balderton Capital, with additional input from Connect Ventures, Index Ventures, and Greylock Partners, as well as a number of  individual business angels.

Bernard Liautaud, general partner at Balderton Capital, commented on the deal in a blog post: “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.

“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.”



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