- Jonathan Simkin, 30
In 2012, when Jonny Simkin sold his edtech company and moved to San Francisco from Southern California, he ditched his car and switched to public transit. Though he was happy with the switch, Simkin saw room for improvement and co-founded a mobile app, Swyft, to provide his fellow riders with better transit schedules backed by GPS data and crowdsourced reporting. Simkin and his co-founders eventually realized that their data could also be used by transit agencies directly, and Swyft became Swiftly.
Swiftly Transitime provides transit data to customer-facing apps (in the cities where it is deployed, Swiftly provides the data for Google Maps), while Swiftly Insights analyzes the data for transit agencies, using algorithms to identify where delays indicate significant problems or failures.
Swiftly started selling enterprise software to transit systems in the last quarter of 2016 and in one year expanded to 45 cities including Boston and Chicago. For a three- to five-year contract, transit agencies can expect to pay between five and seven figures annually. Swiftly's software can be adapted to work with all existing GPS hardware aboard a city's buses and trains, allowing the software to get up and running very quickly. This ability to scale fast has Simkin confident that Swiftly will operate in thousands of cities in the next five years.