South Africa’s WhereIsMyTransport raises £1.165m | Opens its transit API to everyone

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WhereismytransportSouth Africa’s WhereIsMyTransport, a transport technology company has raised £1.165 million from Goodwell Ventures with participation form Omidyar Network and Horizen Ventures to launch its open transit API to help developers build journey-planning applications such as fare estimators, analytics for more informed infrastructure investment and city planning, and messaging capabilities to help optimise journeys affected by delays and cancellations.

The £1.165m is the first closing of a £2 million Seed Round to transform transport in emerging cities using data on formal and informal transportation from static and real-time sources. This means that any transportation mode can be mapped and analysed through the API – whether it’s city buses, metro systems or privately owned buses and minibus taxis.

Last year in September 1, the firm raised 12M Rand (over $ 900,000) to launch an office in London.

According to Devin de Vries, co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport, “The platform that we are launching today is the first open platform for integrated transit data in the emerging world. It creates a foundation for cities and innovators to bring much needed access and information about mobility to millions of people. It’s also just the beginning for us at WhereIsMyTransport as we work to empower people to get where they want to go.”

At launch, the platform contains formal transport information for South African cities Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, George, and East London, the new Dar es Salaam BRT system, and the Cairo Metro and the matatu system in Nairobi, Kenya, with this capability to be extended to other cities and agencies over the coming months.

To date, WhereIsMyTransport has added almost 10,000 stops along 40,000km of routes to the platform, which has involved cleaning and plotting half a million data points. The API is designed to be intuitive (including a developer portal that makes it simple to get started), flexible (to accommodate individual developer needs), extensible (forming a sound base for developers to build on ) and scalable (capable of handling data from tens of thousands of agencies). It is a REST API, built in .NET CORE and uses OAuth 2.0 protocol and OpenID Connect.

According to the firm, the platform creates a foundation for cities and innovators to bring much needed access and information about mobility to millions of people. It’s also just the beginning for us at WhereIsMyTransport as we work to empower people to get where they want to go.

Dave New, Solutions Architect and co-founder, added:“We’ve focused intensely on every detail of the platform, its architecture, and its documentation to make it seamless and enjoyable to build on. As developers ourselves, we wanted to solve a significant problem, in a beautiful way. This is only the beginning of an incredibly ambitious project to lay a foundation to connect public transport across cities and countries around the world.”

Developers can sign-up and access full documentation and tutorials on the WhereIsMyTransport Developer Portal (developer.whereismytransport.com). The portal also contains the latest information on which services and cities are currently in the platform.