City navigation app Citymapper revealed on Friday that its first ever crowdfunding round has raised £6.7 million from retail investors in just 24 hours.
The app, which ran the effort on funding site Crowdcube, soared past its £1 million target, securing the cash from 9,000 investors spanning 80 countries.
App general manager, Bill Earner, who joined the start-up in 2020 from the app's London-based VC Connect Ventures, told the Standard "it was exciting and humbling to really exceed our expectations”.
The start-up, launched in London in 2011 by former Google employee Azmat Yusuf as a way to find out the best ways to navigate the capital on public transport, operates in 80 cities around the world and has over 50 million users.
It has raised £45 million from investors including Index Ventures and Balderton Capital to date, including new capital from institutional investors last year, and recorded a loss of nearly £9 million on revenues of £5.8 million in 2019.
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Its leadership had originally planned to launch the crowdfunding round last spring, but delayed the move when the pandemic hit and cities around the world ground to a halt. Citymapper admitted to potential consumer investors that at one point last year nearly 90% of its users stopped travelling.
The crowdfunding page explicitly told readers to "please be aware that investing in startups is risky".
The app said its teams had spent the pandemic investing "in walking, cycling and micromobility, including turn by turn directions and voice navigation" - adding that it believes "it is a matter of time before mobility will return".
Ahead of the raise Earner said he felt now was "a good time to launch" a crowdfunding round as cities like London begin to bounce back, and after executives have seen cities with low Covid rates and restrictions, such as Singapore, recover.
Citymapper offers a travel card, which costs £33 a month and provides unlimited public transport in parts of London, and a "Club" function which costs £2.99 per month.
Earner said Citymapper plans to use the newfound cash on several initiatives - including exploring "corporate opportunities".
He said: "We'll continue to expand our city coverage, what we call Citymapper Everywhere, with a goal of covering the most significant cities in the world.
"We've developed best-in-class technology in routing, transport data tools, and user interfaces. We want to make that technology available to other companies, so we'll continue to build out that capability.
"We'll continue to improve Pass, adding features, integrating more transport modes, and explore international expansion and corporate and enterprise opportunities."
It comes as fellow tech startup Curve also pursues a £1 million Crowdfund. Fintechs including Monzo and Revolut have also completed crowdfunding rounds, which are thought to increase consumer retention and engagement.
Curve has raised £132million since launching in 2015, with with its Series C fundraising securing £72.5 million this year.
This week founder Shachar Bialick told the Standard crowdfunding "allows us to increase evangelism within our customer base".
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