DoubleMap Inc.—a technology company started by students at Indiana University in Bloomington 10 years ago that lets people track buses in real time and use on-demand ride-hailing software—is merging with a Utah transportation-software company to broaden its reach.
DoubleMap, based in Indianapolis, is joining forces with Ride Systems LLC, based outside Salt Lake City, the two companies said in a joint statement Tuesday. They will continue to operate “semi-independently” out of their current locations under the umbrella of a newly formed Journey Holding Corp.
Peter SerVaas, founder and president of DoubleMap, said the merger will bring together two companies in a fast-growing, competitive industry, as more and more people use transportation apps to help get around.
Officials at DoubleMap approached Ride Systems with the idea for a merger, he said. The combination is intended to build market share and reach more transit riders.
“We saw a great opportunity to leverage the strengths of both groups,” SerVaas said.
DoubleMap is the larger partner in terms of head count and revenues, he said. The company, with offices at 429 N. Pennsylvania St., has about 40 employees, compared to about 20 at Ride Systems.
The companies declined to disclose individual revenues, but said they expect the combined operations to ring up about $20 million in total revenue this year.
DoubleMap traces its roots to 2009, when several students at IU in Bloomington created a prototype for software that would help students track where buses were and let visually impaired riders know when buses were coming. The company incorporated in 2011.
In 2014, DoubleMap bought Florida-based TapRide, an on-demand ride-hailing and dispatching service similar to Uber or Lyft, and adapted that technology to be used by public transit systems, airports, hospitals, corporate fleets and others.
Today, DoubleMap has two major products. Its DoubleMap app lets users track buses in real time. Its TapRide app lets passenger request a ride—usually to connect to public transit or to get around a university or corporate campus. The company has more than 1 million active users. Customers include Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
In addition, TapRide allows people who want to use public transit but live several miles from a bus stop to use its app to request a ride to the nearest bus stop, or from the bus stop to home.
DoubleMap had revenue growth of 56 percent between 2014 and 2016. It has been named to IBJ's Fast 25, most recently in 2017.
Ride Systems, formed in 2007, provides real-time vehicle tracking software. Customers include Hartstfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Los Angeles Airport.
“Ride Systems does a phenomenal job creating a really scalable solution that’s all over the country,” SerVaas said. “DoubleMap is focused on the more difficult problems that clients have. There are real advantages to coming together and helping clients from both of those perspectives.”
Together, the two companies serve more 500 transit customers, from corporations and airports to universities and hotels.
The holding company will maintain operations out of both companies’ headquarters.
Justin Rees, CEO of Ride Systems, will become CEO of the holding company. He will be based out of the Ride Systems’ headquarters near Salt Lake City.
"The combining of our two companies presents an amazing opportunity to gain majority market share as well as afford us the unparalleled capability of reaching transit riders everywhere," Rees said in a statement.
SerVaas will continue as president of DoubleMap and will also serve as co-president of the holding company. Ilya Rekhter, CEO of DoubleMap, will continue in that role and also be co-president of the holding company.
"This transaction will enable both companies to collaborate on innovation and ultimately make it easier for the average person to move about their day without needing to own a car," Rekhter said in a statement.