Double Mira winner DoubleMap presents transit technology to Tech Thursday crowd
The three managing partners of DoubleMap met at Indiana University in Bloomington, where the idea for a bus tracking application sprang from a desire to stay in bed as long as possible while still making it to class on time.
Ilya Rekhter and Eric Jiang joined Tech Thursday attendees last night to tell the story of DoubleMap, from inception at IU through international expansion and their May 3rd Mira Awards wins.
Jiang, the development mind behind DoubleMap, says, “Originally we just wanted to know where our buses were…we got into the transit agency features to allow us to sell.” The DoubleMap team quickly realized that while transit companies liked the bus tracking feature, they weren’t willing to fork over cash for a feature. The team shifted focus to gathering and disseminating data that allows transit companies to evaluate route usage and change service, removing or adding busses as needed, in real time.
DoubleMap’s first client was Indiana University in Bloomington. Rekhter (who handles DoubleMap’s operations) recognizes the unique opportunity presented by the relationships the team had formed in college. “We were very fortunate to have IU as our first client. Not many startups can have that kind of notoriety out of the gates.” They’ve reached coast to coast, from Georgetown to Stanford. Universities are their bread and butter, but they’ve also moved into shuttles, airports and cities.
As the company continues to grow, DoubleMap is moving in on the new frontier for transit: busses on demand, even in areas not traditionally served by public transportation. Rekhter said last night, “This is a huge opportunity to bring transit to all sorts of places where traditional transit just doesn’t work very well.”