Startup profile: Citymapper


  • Citymapper is a transportation startup founded by Azmat Yusuf in 2011.
  • The app-based platform aims to be the most comprehensive mobility source within its 41 cities. 
  • A new partnership between Citymapper and Vulog sees car-sharing services incorporated into the app


About Citymapper


Citymapper was initially launched as Busmapper by Azmat Yusuf, former Google employee, in 2010. He aimed to help those, including himself, who struggled to navigate around London via public transport. Yusuf stated “I was trying to live a low-cost life. I was wandering around London and was trying to figure out how to take the bus. My personal issue is that I was trying to figure out how to get back home at 3 in the morning.” Gradually, he added in the tube, trams and DLR capabilities and by 2011, Busmapper had become Citymapper. 

Popular amongst investor, Citymapper raised tens of millions of dollars in funding from well-known VC firms. Yusuf said “I never thought European investors would be into it. Some of the investors use public transport and they were actually using it”. In its last external funding round, in 2016, it was reported to have been valued at more than $325m(£250).

Now, Citymapper operates in 41 cities around the world and integrates data for all urban transport modes. 


What does Citymapper do?


Citymapper is widely considered one of the most successful consumer technology apps in the UK, with tens of millions of downloads for its transit app. It operates an all-inclusive transport service through the free mobile app and website, competing with Google and Apple map services. 

The app locates you and calculates the quickest and least complicated route to your chosen destination. It provides live updates on when the next buses or trains are arriving at any given stop and reminds you when you need to get off or change. Linked to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Gett, the app also quotes a cab price for your journey. 

Last year, the launch of the ‘Citymapper pass’ saw the company start to compete directly with Transport for London. Citymapper undersells TFL, offering unlimited travel in central London for £31 a week, a discount on £35.10 TFL charges for the same journeys. The pass operates a pre-paid debit card paid by Citymapper, with users paying for at least four weeks upfront. 


Citymapper in 2020


On Tuesday (13/02/2020), Citymapper announced a partnership with Vulog, working together to provide increased accessibility to car-sharing options. At the Move 2020 conference in London, the company revealed how shared mobility services from Vulog will now be incorporated into the Citymapper’s app. App-users will be informed of local shared electric vehicles, mopeds, and scooters available to them.

President of Citymapper, Omid Ashtari, stated, “We are excited to work with Vulog to provide more shared and electric mobility options for our users.” In some cities, Vulog services provide access to over 2,000 shared vehicles, such as Paris, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Madrid and Washington, DC.