There are more than 35 million citizens in México City, Bogotá or Santiago, yet there is no single app or website to use to find destinations. There’s no one stop shop to learn about local merchants, scout discounts, find events or venues, or simply be in the know about public transport or services. This is especially the case for those who live outside of trendy, upscale neighborhoods, where only five percent of the population resides.
That’s why we launched CÍVICO – a digital information platform accessible online and in-app that maps and aggregates a city in a single place. Put simply, it connects cities with their citizens.
Except, doing so was actually quite an undertaking – we targeted more than 50,000 ‘crowd-sourcers’ to map local businesses, points of interest and formal and informal companies in Mexico City, Bogota and Santiago. They discovered 800,000 places, making CÍVICO the go-to source of information of the city. We also worked with public transport agencies, governments and media companies to bring in more data such as police info or local guides for music, movies and pets. Finally, we geo-fenced the cities to understand how people move throughout them and where they prefer to travel, shop and play.
We relied on SEO, social media and word of mouth to accrue more than 4 million monthly active users, but we’re more than a consumer facing app. In the back end, we are providing more than 6,000 merchants with digital tools to increase sales and drive foot traffic to their stores. Banks can even benefit by using the platform to connect merchants with consumers, which means governments are able to better develop the local economy.
Then enter the Mastercard Start Path program. We worked alongside Mastercard to hone our value proposition as a smart city digital platform, which of course meant adding a transactional element. Together we launched CÍVICO Pay in Bogota to let merchants accept digital payments, and benefit from data insights we collect on the spending habits of their consumers.
Mastercard helped us explore a new direction for our tech company by opening up or beginning conversations in new markets such as Singapore, Capetown, Lagos and Dubai. We hope to bring our technology to more cities so merchants, banks, brands and governments can operate more efficiently and the people who live in or visit them can enjoy more out of life.