MyCityWay: 3 Ex-Wall Street Techies Went from Idea to $6M in Funding

January 9, 2012

1:00 pm

In late 2009, Sonpreet Bhatia, Puneet Mehta, and Archana Patchirajan had a moment of inspiration – create a useful tool for discovering New York City.  It was the dream of creating this tool that led all three of them to leave their VP-level technology jobs on Wall Street.

Unlike a lot of ex-Wall Street folks, including myself, they actually had the technical skills to go out and build the tool.  They were not just another set of business people looking to jump into startup world – they were uniquely positioned to make it all happen.

They built their first app, NYC Way, in forty days and entered the NYC Big Apps Competition, where it was the only app to win three awards, including Popular Choice and Investor’s Choice.  The app also received an endorsement from Mayor Bloomberg.   Being part of the competition really propelled their success.

The app is a one-stop resource for finding anything from a nearby restroom to traffic information, to buying movie tickets or discovering upcoming events.  It quickly became a top-ten travel app at the Apple Store, and it can often still be found there. Though they have not spent any money on promoting the app, it already has 3.4 million downloads and is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.

The MyCityWay team met their first investor through the judging panel at the NYC Big Apps Competition, and they received $1 million in seed funding from First Mark Capital, IA Ventures, and the NYC EDC.  Since then they have also raised $5 million in Series A funding from First Mark Capital, IA Ventures and BMW.

2012 will be focused on product development – users will soon receive curated recommendations and be able to plan a day in the city, while integration with social networks will allow them to share their experiences with their friends.

If you you traveling to NYC soon, give the app a try and let us know what you think!  Leave a comment in the section below.

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Julissa is a technology entrepreneur and writer on innovation and start-ups. She is co-founder of Common Equity, and leads the SocStock product team. She is passionate about innovation, travel and college football. You can follow her on twitter @julissaarce.

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