HopStop Keeps its Edge in Pedestrian Navigation Despite Competition

Even for natives of busy cities, it is not always easy to know the fastest way to get around town on foot or by public transit. It would be nice to find out about planned changes to subway lines and bus routes, for example, before rushing to stops that might not be in service. That was the impetus for six-year-old HopStop, the New York-based company that offers its users door-to-door directions for biking, taking taxis, walking, and other forms of transit.

HopStop collects data from transit agencies and other verified sources to provide information on navigating the cities the company covers. The information and directions are tailored for pedestrians and transit riders, which sets HopStop apart from the many websites and apps that offer driving directions, such as Google and MapQuest. As his rivals race to catch up, HopStop CEO Joe Meyer says his company is developing new revenue streams by seeking business-to-business clients.

Users can access HopStop via the Web or mobile devices to plan their routes or look for new ways to reach their destinations. The company provides detailed, hyperlocal information that Meyer says rival services such as Google Transit have yet to match.

“We have a proprietary, patented routing engine that gets smarter over time,” says Meyer.

Though HopStop has raised $2.2 million in total funding since its founding, for the past three years the company has been growing on ad revenues, which Meyer says is in the $2 million-to-$5 million range annually. “People use us because we are helping them in their daily lives,” he says. “We don’t have to incentivize our users.”

HopStop was founded in 2005 by Chinedu Echeruo, who remains chairman of the company. Meyer says Echeruo got the idea for HopStop out of frustration with … Next Page »

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