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Apple buys Chinedu Echeruo's tech firm for $1b

By The Rainbow
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Apple has bought Mr. Chinedu Echeruo's Hopstop.com for one billion dollars, The Wall Street Journal's publication, AllThingsDigital has reported.

Although  this has been in the news since 2013, the latest announcement might mean a consummation of the long in coming agreement with Apple.

Echeruo, who was listed as one of  ‘The 10 Most Powerful Men In Africa 2014′ is a tech entrepreneur and founder of Hopstop.com and Tripology.com.

HopStop itself is described by Forbes as ‘a mobile and online application that provides mass transit directions door-to-door mass transit, taxi, walking, biking and hourly car rental directions in major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S., Canada, U.K, France, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.’

Echeruo, formerly an analyst at the investment banks and hedge funds, founded Hopstop.com in 2005.Echeruo is now Chairman of the Board for Hopstop, has been compared to Israel's Waze, which was recently acquired by Google for $1 billion.

Reports describe Apple’s move as Part of its plan to bolster its map offering, especially given Google's recent acquisition of Waze.

Tripology on the other hand is “an interactive travel referral service focused on connecting travelers with travel specialists which was later acquired by USA Today Travel Media Group.”

Hopstop.com makes mobile applications for both iOS and Android that covers over 300 cities and that helps people get directions or find nearby subway stations and bus stops. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed as at the time of this report.

Echeruo obtained his M.B.A from Harvard Business School and got a B.S from Syracuse University.A serial entrepreneur, Echeruo grew up in the Eastern part of Nigeria and attended Kings College, Lagos.

He  founded Hopstop.com after working for several years in the mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance groups of J.P Morgan Chase where he was involved in a broad range of M&A, financing and private equity transactions.

He also worked at AM Investment Partners, a $500 million volatility-driven convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund.

Echeruo is working on yet another venture but this time, focused on small businesses in Africa.

According to him, “There is no reason why every entrepreneur should have to reinvent the wheel every single time in all the countries in Africa.

“My idea is to essentially have one place where a budding entrepreneur can access a template for starting a business, and then customise it to suit their own situation; essentially, a business-in-a-box.”

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