Chinedu Echeruo is a serial entrepreneur who has dared to imagine the future. In 2005, he founded HopStop, a groundbreaking travel software that has helped millions of people manage public transit in major cities worldwide.
HopStop was acquired by Apple in 2013 and much of its features has been subsequently included in Apple Maps.
HopStop wasn’t the only acquired company built by Echeruo. He co-founded Tripology.com, a platform that connects consumers with specialist travel professionals. The company was acquired by Rand McNally, an American travel and navigation company.
He later founded MindMeet, a networking platform based on the passion economy, where people can sell their expertise and advice in exchange for money and a promise to help the expert’s chosen charity.
Chinedu now runs his Love & Magic Company, a start-up studio that works with innovative groups to co-create businesses.
He has been rated one of Africa’s top ten most powerful persons by Forbes magazine.
Chinedu attended secondary education at Kings College in Lagos, proceeded to Syracuse University, and subsequently earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
After leaving college, he set himself up to work for a wide range of Mergers&Acquistions, financing, and private equity deals at J.P Morgan Chase’s M&A and Leveraged Finance departments for several years.
This opportunity helped him perfect his craft, dealing with finance and private equity transactions over those years.
The founding of HopStop
When Chinedu Echeruo initially arrived in New York in 1995, navigating the city was tough for him. And this was a legitimate concern shared by anyone who had recently relocated to a new city.
This led Chinedu to work on solving the problem; some years later, he built HopStop to accomplish precisely that.
The app developed to the point that it had as many as five million monthly users. They soon grew out to 600 cities because of the high acceptance rate.
Echeruo founded HopStop in 2005. The navigating platform provides door-to-door public transport, taxi, walking, bike, and hourly car rental directions in major metropolitan markets across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.
In 2007, the HopStop app won Black Enterprise’s Small Business Innovator of the Year. It was later designated as one of the top 100 fastest-growing software companies in the United States.
By 2010, Echeruo’s service had increased its revenue by 250 percent, from $574,268 to $2 million, then to about $5 million in 2012.
It’s no surprise that it drew the attention of Apple Inc., which paid an estimated $1 billion for HopStop.
After Apple acquisition
Following the sale of HopStop, Chinedu Echeruo joined Constant Capital Partners Ltd as a principal.
“I am delighted to be part of the transformation in culture and economy of Africa right now,” he explained his decision to join the boutique investment bank and personal investing company in West Africa.
Prior to joining Constant Capital Partners, Echeruo founded Gigameet in 2009, a “cause-driven” social media network now known as Mindmeet.
The platform was a recipient of the 2019 “World’s Most Innovative Company” award.