Thursday, October 28

Meet The Nigerian Who Sold His Company To Apple Worth $1billion

Chinedu Echeruo is Nigeria USA based Entrepreneur who founded HopStop in 2005. Before then, Echeruo worked as an analyst at investment banks and hedge funds for some couple of years. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Syracuse University. Echeruo was the Chairman of the Board for HopStop before July 2013 when the website was finally sold to Apple Inc.

Nigerian citizens have been in the news lately for the wrong reasons. Following the recent FBI arrest of 77 Nigerians and Forbes 30 under 30 Nigerian entrepreneur Obinwanne Okeke for cyber fraud, there’s been a global outrage and mixed reactions trailing the integrity of its citizens, especially in the diaspora.

However, on the reverse, the West African country has set many precedencies that the world continues to benefit from, not from cybercrime but from laudable feats. Here is one of them – a Nigerian tech entrepreneur who built software and sold it to Apple Inc for $1billion.

About Chinedu Echeruo

Chinedu Echeruo was born in the Eastern part of Nigeria. He went on to gain his secondary education at Kings’ College, Lagos and a B.S in Finance and Accounting (Honors) from Syracuse University.

He later earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in the United States. Echeruo put his business degree to use while working at J.P Morgan Chase, an investment banking company. There, he was involved in a broad range of M&A, financing and private equity transactions. He also worked with AM Investment Partners, a $500 million volatility-driven convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund.

Starting Hopstop

Chinedu eventually left the investment world to start his software company — — in 2005. The idea to start a navigation service for pedestrians came after he got tired of getting lost in New York City’s transport system

His frustration led to the invention of a service that would help people get door-to-door mass transit, walking, biking, and taxi directions from various parts of the country and other parts of the world.

HopStop, which covers over 300 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom, quickly made a name for itself in the location-based service industry.

It won Black Enterprise’s Small Business Innovator of the Year Award in 2007 and was later named one of the top 100 fastest growing software companies in the United States. By 2010, Echeruo’s service had grown 250% from $574,268 to $2 million in revenue and then an estimated $5 million in 2012.

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