Getting to Know Cities with Citymapper's Azmat Yusuf at Disrupt London 2016 | Summary and Q&A

December 6, 2016
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Getting to Know Cities with Citymapper's Azmat Yusuf at Disrupt London 2016

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In this video, Mike Butcher interviews As Matt Youssef, the founder of Citymapper. They discuss how As Matt came up with the idea for Citymapper, his experiences at Google, the challenges of working with open data, and the potential monetization strategies for the app. As Matt also shares his vision for the future of cities and how Citymapper can help improve mobility and infrastructure.

Questions & Answers:

Q: How did As Matt come up with the idea for Citymapper?

As Matt explains that he was personally frustrated with getting around London and wanted to create a useful mobile app. He initially started with a bus app called Busmapper before expanding it to become Citymapper.

Q: What was the inspiration behind creating a comprehensive transportation app?

As Matt wanted to solve the problem of navigating a complex and spread-out city like London. He believed that by integrating different modes of transportation, such as buses and trains, into one app, he could change the way people move around the city.

Q: How did Citymapper deal with the lack of real-time data for buses?

Initially, Citymapper focused on providing information about bus routes and schedules. As real-time data became available, the app was able to integrate this feature, making it even more useful for commuters.

Q: How did Citymapper's relationship with London Transport and the mayor's digital advisory board help in its development?

As Matt explains that the board received pitches from companies like IBM to build the transport system, but they advocated for releasing the data instead. This decision allowed Citymapper to access and utilize the open data to improve their app.

Q: Were there other apps similar to Citymapper at the time?

As Matt mentions that there were other bus and tube apps available, but Citymapper set itself apart by focusing on creating a comprehensive app that considered multimodal options and incorporated real-time data.

Q: What motivated investors to fund Citymapper?

As Matt shares that investors were attracted to the fact that the app had a significant user base and was constantly being used by commuters. This demonstrated the app's value and potential for growth.

Q: How does Citymapper plan to monetize the app?

As Matt states that there are multiple ways to monetize the app, including taking a cut of transactions made through the app, partnering with businesses for targeted offers, and potentially selling data or tools to cities and government agencies for urban planning.

Q: How has Citymapper been able to expand to different cities worldwide?

As Matt explains that Citymapper has developed tools to create and fix data in cities, which allows them to expand to different locations. They can utilize open data and their own tools to provide accurate and useful information for commuters.

Q: What challenges does Citymapper face when it comes to working with government agencies and open data?

As Matt mentions that in the past, open data was a debated topic. However, now many cities and agencies understand the value of partnering with app developers like Citymapper to improve their services. Citymapper also helps cities with fixing and updating their data, which can be a complex and ongoing process.

Q: How does Citymapper plan to help cities plan and improve their infrastructure?

As Matt believes that Citymapper's data and tools can be used to help cities better utilize their infrastructure and plan for the future. They want to empower cities to make informed decisions about urban planning and transportation by providing valuable insights and data.


Citymapper is a comprehensive transportation app that aims to improve mobility and infrastructure in cities. By integrating different modes of transportation and leveraging open data, Citymapper provides users with real-time information and routes. The app has a significant user base and investors are interested in its potential for growth and monetization. Citymapper's vision is not only to provide a useful app but also to help cities plan and improve their infrastructure for a better future.

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