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Via Transportation acquires Citymapper travel app

2nd July 2023 Print

Citymapper, the travel planning app, has been acquired by the US technology company Via Transportation for an undisclosed sum.

The cash-and-stock deal will see the Citymapper app incorporated in the Via Transportation platform resulting in a “unified solution and exceptional journey planning experience.”

Reflecting behavioural shifts

The popularity of the Citymapper app demonstrates how far the behavioural shift online has developed over the past decade. Gone are the days of tourists struggling with unwieldy and often impenetrable maps. Thanks to apps such as Citymapper it is possible to plan and follow routes in unfamiliar cities in real time. The preference for online activities has affected other areas including the entertainment industry. While streaming services such as Netflix and Apple have changed the way we consume films and music, we have also seen a shift in the iGaming industry. Players can access an online slots casino from the comfort of their own home or when they are on the go. Online casinos are able to offer an ever-increasing and wide variety of slot titles from branded slots to jackpot slots and the latest innovations such as Slingo, a cross between slots and bingo.

The Citymapper app developers also recognise the need to offer users innovations, with the app now including the option of selecting underground tube journeys in London where air conditioning is available, giving Londoners and tourists the chance to avoid uncomfortable journeys in the heat.

Premium features free to all users

The unpredictable weather in the capital also means that the Walk Less feature is particularly popular amongst users. In May 2023, Citymapper announced that premium app features, including Walk Less, voice navigation and routes for specific modes of transport, would be free to all users as part of the ad-supported option. Free services featuring adverts has become a popular amongst app services.

Rapid growth

Citymapper began life in London in 2011, providing practical information to help travellers plan their trip around the capital. The app now covers cities across Europe, the US and Canada along with destinations in Asia and the rest of the world resulting in over 50 million downloads. The rapid growth of the Citymapper app had led to speculation that major technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft or Alphabet could be amongst those interested in acquiring the company, but ultimately the New York-based transport tech company Via Transportation won the day.


For Azmat Yusuf, the founder and CEO of Citymapper and a former Google employee, the acquisition deal creates the opportunity to grow the app through access to a wider audience, particularly as Via Transportation works with local government agencies around the globe. He is confident the deal will facilitate the stated mission of the company which is to “make cities easier to navigate and urban transportation more efficient, sustainable, and accessible.”

As our lives are increasingly taking place online, we are likely to see travel apps such as Citymapper playing an even greater role in the future, particularly with the Via Transportation acquisition creating an opportunity to integrate the app with local government transportation.

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