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Summary:

Citymapper is more known in London than it is in the U.S., but with $10 million in new capital it plans to expand into other big metro areas where large numbers of public transit commuters live.

Citymapper featured
photo: Citymapper

Citymapper, a mapping app that specializes in navigating the complexities of public transportation in big cities, has raised a $10 million Series A round led by Balderton Capital with participation from Connect Ventures, Index Ventures and Greylock Partners.

The startup launched as Busmapper in its hometown of London back in 2011, but it’s been layering on other transportation options, from subway lines and trams to ferries and even taxis. Citymapper says it wants to be the daily destination app for any city commuter without a car, and it’s featured two prominent buttons in its Android and iPhone apps — “Get me home” and “Get me to work” – designed to help users pick the best multi-modal option in their daily commute.

Citymapper apps

The app has enjoyed a bit of local fame in London — where Citymapper estimates it’s been downloaded on half of the iPhones in the city — but it’s also expanded to Paris, New York and Berlin. The company said that it plans to use its new $10 million in capital to expand to new metro areas, though it hasn’t announced any specific cities (here’s hoping Chicago makes the list).

As the mapping and navigation industry matures in the automobile, there’s been a growing focus on way-finding for people outside of the car. Many of the major nav apps have pedestrian options, and some like Google Maps even include public transit in their routes, but a new breed of apps is tailored specifically for the urban dweller who uses every means of city transport apart from an automobile.

Israeli startup Tranzmate is taking a page from Waze’s book, launching an app called Moovit that crowdsources train delay and traffic information from its app users to help pick the best public transit routes through a city. Another Israeli company called Ototo recently launched in the U.S., offering a similar crowdsourced service but with more of a focus on creating a social community around the commute and working with local public transit authorities.

Apple is expected to jump on the bandwagon as well. Last year it bought HotStop, but it has yet to integrate public transit features into Apple Maps, though they’re expected to debut in iOS 8.

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  1. I’d like to see this in Chicago as well. This is an interesting app but I can’t see the value add yet over Google Maps. Maybe I’m just missing something. And if I visited NYC/London/Paris/Berlin, I’m not sure if I’d download this app because it would duplicate what I already have – my friend Google Maps.

    I don’t own a car, so everything is thought of from a mass-transit standpoint. Even when I travel extensively without a network connection, I can still use MetrO (http://metro.nanika.net/) as an offline subway router. It’s worked for me even since the PalmOS days in 60+ countries.

  2. Lisa’s Kansa Muse Thursday, April 17, 2014

    That is an excellent idea.

  3. Used it in London last month. Traveling from Romania to the UK. The app is awesome if you’re a tourist. Recommend it to everyone!

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