Apple Acquires HopStop – A Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur’s Startup

HopStop.com, a mapping application that provides an online city transit guide for people who need to move around in different cities, has been acquired by Apple. Although the specific financial details of the deal have not been made public, the move signals Apple’s attempt to bolster its mapping application offerings.

The acquisition has been confirmed by Apple Spokeswoman, Kristin Huguet, via ABC news, indicating that Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, preferring generally not to discuss its purposes or plans.”

HopStop helps people get appropriate directions, and find the nearest subway stations and bus stops. The application is currently available on Android and iOS devices, and covers over 300 cities. This service has been compared to Waze, a similar application developed in Israel and recently acquired by Google for $1.1 billion.

Developed in 2005, HopStop was one of two U.S based internet companies which raised nearly $8 million, the other one being Tripology. For Chinedu Echeruo, the man behind HopStop, this is not the first time one of his startups has been acquired by an established business outfit. In 2010, another one of his ventures, Tripology.com (an interactive travel referral service), was acquired by Rand McNally.

The HopStop founder attended Syracuse University and Harvard Business School. He has also received a few accolades, including Black Enterprise Magazine’s Small Business innovator of the year and Top 40 under 40 recognition. He founded HopStop after working for several years with the Mergers, Acquisitions and Leveraged Finance groups of J.P Morgan Chase, and at a $500 million dollar hedge fund called AM investment partners. He currently serves as partner and head of the Principal Investing group at Constant Capital – a West African based investment bank.

Maintaining momentum as the serial entrepreneur, Echeruo has yet another venture in the offing. According to a YouTube video, this new idea is focused on small businesses in Africa and would be a “crowdsourced business in a box”.

This serves as inspiration to developers all over Africa; nothing defies a product that finds the right need and fills it.

 

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