Citymapper, the urban transport app that’s one of Britain’s best-known consumer technology companies, is in talks to be bought by a multi-billion dollar New York-based competitor.
Sky News has learned that Citymapper, which launched in 2010, is in advanced discussions to be acquired by Via Transportation.
City sources said a deal could be reached within weeks, although there was no certainty a deal would be reached.
Each transaction would likely value Citymapper at a fraction of the $325 million it reportedly used to raise funds in 2016, they said.
Via recently secured $110 million in new funding from investors with a valuation of $3.5 billion and said it will use the new capital “to expand its product range and advance its vision of going digital to provide end-to-end infrastructure for public mobility”.
The US-based company’s shareholders include London-based venture capital fund 83North.
Citymapper has been backed by well-known early-stage investors such as Balderton Capital and Index Ventures for years.
Its geographic coverage includes numerous cities worldwide, making it a major player among urban transit platforms.
Citymapper claims to have 50 million users around the world.
Founded in 2010 by Azmat Yusuf, a former Google employee, it committed to addressing some of the deep-rooted challenges of urban mobility.
Its app allows travelers in cities like London to buy an integrated pass that can be used on public transport like buses and trains, as well as privately hired vehicles like taxis and bikes.
In Europe it has operated in places such as Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan and Paris, while in the US it has had a presence in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
The company has also launched in Hong Kong, Melbourne and Tokyo.
The company briefly experimented with running its own bus service in London to find new revenue streams.
In 2020, it retained New York-based merchant bank Raine Group to advise on discussions with potential buyers, which at the time included some of the world’s largest technology companies.
Back then, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, were all touted as potential suitors.
However, that process was quickly curtailed by the pandemic as lockdowns wreaked havoc on urban transit.
In its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021, Citymapper said it “continued to be impacted by Covid-19, with movement restrictions and work-from-home guidelines still in place for much of the year, reflecting on affected sales”.
“Despite this short-term impact, the long-term outlook is positive as app engagement hits an all-time high by the second half of 2021, and post-2021 app usage returns to pre-pandemic levels and continues to grow organically. End.”
It added, “In addition to its consumer businesses, Citymapper is now uniquely positioned to address the multi-billion dollar B2B[business-to-business” mobility technology market].[Business-to-Business”-MarktfürMobilitätstechnologieanzugehen”[business-to-business”mobilitytechnologymarket”
Citymapper said it lost £7.4million, slightly more than last year’s £6.4million loss, which was attributed to increased staff and server costs.
It said in the accounts that it had a net worth of £6.1 million.
In 2021, the company ran a crowdfunding round to bolster its balance sheet, raising £6million amid strong demand from investors.
This increase appeared to come at a valuation of just over £190m.
A spokeswoman for Via declined to comment on the talks, while neither Citymapper, its founder nor Balderton Capital, which sits on Citymapper’s board, responded to a request for comment.