Cape tech firm GoMetro joins UK transport accelerator

2017-12-05 21:30 - Jan Cronje
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Justin Coetzee of GoMetro. (Supplied)


Cape Town - South African smart tech company GoMetro has been chosen as one of a handful of transport start-ups to join the UK's Intelligent Mobility accelerator programme, which seeks to "radically overhaul" the world's transport systems. 

Intelligent Mobility (IM), based in the town of Milton Keynes north of London, is a business accelerator which supports start-ups and businesses seeking to change transport by incorporating topics such as open data, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. 

The accelerator is a partnership with Wayra UK and Transport Systems Catapult, and is supported by ThoughtWorks Ventures and Network Rail. 

According to its website, the accelerator is designed to “attract disruptive start-ups with high-growth potential into the UK transport supply chain, while helping them grow into world-leading companies”.

“[The programme's] goal is to develop companies who will develop data-driven solutions for the most pressing transport problems facing the world today, improving day-to-day life for millions of commuters while creating new UK-based industry leaders in the £900bn (about R16.6trn) global transport systems market.”

GoMetro is a local public transport tracking app that aims to improve urban commuting experiences by providing users with real-time data on train schedules, fares, timetables and line and service announcements.

It also allows commuters to email their managers or supervisors directly from the app if trains are delayed. 

It is the official app of Metrorail and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa in the four provinces in which it operates.

Earlier this year it joined PitchDrive to undertake a venture capital funding tour of Europe, which included pitches in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich and Paris.

By joining the IM accelerator, it will benefit from a six-month support programme, office space, mentoring and networking.

'The successful start-ups will also get access to the partners’ networks of investors, government agencies, customers, large corporates and universities,' says Wayra UK on its website. 

'Rocket fuel'

Justin Coetzee, GoMetro’s CEO and founder, said in a statement that joining the Intelligent Mobility accelerator would be “rocket fuel” for the start-up. 

“When we chose the UK as the first market that we would aim to enter, it was because the UK has a lot of similarities with our home market of South Africa – terrible congestion due to high levels of car ownership and usage, public transport ridership that is dropping every year and a tech-savvy and mobile phone orientated market ready for a paradigm shift,” he said in a statement. 

GoMetro’s country manager for the UK, Gary Morgan, meanwhile said winning a seat on the Intelligent Mobility programme was “an accolade in itself".

GoMetro is available on the Google Play store and the Apple App store, as well as via its mobile site.

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