Moovit, a well-funded Israeli transport startup backed by Nokia and BMW, has secured one million users in the UK.

The company, which is competing head to head with London startup Citymapper by offering people the best transport routes to get from A to B, has racked up the UK users since launching in the region just under a year ago.

Founder Nir Erez (left) and VP Alex Torres Moovit ©Moovit
Founder Nir Erez (left) and VP Alex Torres Moovit ©Moovit

The Moovit mobile app, available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone, aims to give users real-time journey directions for subways, buses and trams by combining live public data with information submitted by its "hyper-engaged" community. Unlike Citymapper, Moovit invites its users to submit their own travel updates to the platform, which can then be shared with other Moovit users. 

Moovit has expanded aggressively, to the extent where it now has a presence in over 600 cities, considerably more than Citymapper, which is in less than 30. In the UK, Citymapper is only available to residents of London, Manchester and Birmingham, while Moovit's greater coverage means it is also popular in cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Sheffield.

While Citymapper isn’t in as many cities, it has proved very popular in the cities it’s launched in, consistently ranking top of the charts on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. In the App Store it currently sits behind Google Maps and Navmii in third, while Moovit comes in seventh behind other apps like Waze, which was acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported $1.3 billion (£870 million).

Alex Torres, Moovit's vice president of global product and marketing, who left a position at Google Maps to join the business, said Moovit now boasts 20 million users across the world.  

Investors like Sequoia Capital and the venture capital arms of Nokia and BMW backed Moovit to the tune of £33 million ($50 million) earlier this year and the company said it was planning to use the funding to help it expand in the UK. 

In April, the company announced it had 800,000 UK users, meaning an aditional 200,000 have started using the service in the last three months. 

Citymapper did not respond to Techworld's reqest for an update on UK user numbers.