HopStopwas a brainchild of then new-comer from Nigeria, Chinedu Echeruo. He came up with the idea back in 2005 because he got lost on his way to a business meeting. Now, 7 years after, HopStop has come a long way with former eBay executive Joe Meyer expanding the company as CEO and 78 major metropolitan markets.
HopStop provides public transit directions in an easy-to-understand format. The site covers information f0r buses, trains, ferries, bikes, rental cars, and taxis. The company also has an app that is on iTunes’ top 10 free app list
Recently, the website created a carbon-emissions calculator that show “green” forms of transport and restaurants in the area. A forum will also be added in the site so users can communicate with each other.
Echeruo started HopStop with just $2 million from different investors and was met immediately with issues of building a profitable business model for his idea. He solved this problem by creating a customizable system for both cities and individuals. This system attracts advertisers since it gives data on locations where people frequently are. This helps advertisers place strategic ads. Hopstop’s first ad sponsor was American Express.
“Chinedu was before his time. He started geo-targeting ads on HopStop locations before the phrase ‘location-based services’ even existed.” says Joe Meyer, HopStop’s current President and CEO.
The company has achieved so much though it only has between 10 and 15 employees at a time, who are all given unlimited paid vacation time.
Source: Crains New York