Tag: RideScout

Asana Launches a Big Marketing Campaign in Austin

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

austin-map-blog“Work about work” is killing productivity in the workplace, said Kenny Van Zant, an executive with Asana.

Too many managers find themselves bogged down with email and meetings about meetings and very little work is actually getting done, he said.

Asana, a web and mobile software application that allows teams to work together without email, is the solution to improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace, Van Zant said.

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, former Facebook engineer, co-founded Asana to create a better way for teams to collaborate. The three year old startup, based in San Francisco, has raised $38.2 million in four rounds, according to Crunchbase. And in the last few years, Asana has gotten a lot of traction in the marketplace, Van Zant said.

“We have hundreds of thousands of teams across the world using Asana,” Van Zant said. “We’re one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies ever.”

Van Zant, former chief product strategist at SolarWinds, recently returned to Austin to meet with Asana customers and others about its upcoming marketing launch locally.

“We look at the markets where we have a ton of growth and diversity and Austin rises to the top,” Van Zant said.

Kenny Van Zant with Asana, courtesy photo.

Kenny Van Zant with Asana, courtesy photo.

And he’s familiar with the Austin market. Before SolarWinds, Van Zant worked as head of strategy and corporate development at Motive, maker of broadband service management software. And he co-founded BroadJump in 1998 and served as its chief operating officer. He’s also from Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Asana is the kind of product where word of mouth is how it grows,” Van Zant said. “We want to highlight some of our customers and have them help tell the Asana story. We look at markets where we could do that in a concentrated way. Austin is clearly the market.”

Asana also looked at launching in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, London, Berlin and other cities, but chose Austin as its first city for a big marketing campaign outside of California.

Austin companies using Asana include WP Engine, SpareFoot, RideScout, Spredfast, ihiji and Umbel.
But it’s not just tech companies using Asana, Van Zant said. The City of Austin is also a customer, he said. And restaurateurs like Chi’Lantro Food Trucks and Elm Restaurant Group, which owns Arro, 24 Diner and Easy Tiger, use it and so does Tiff’s Treats, a cookie delivery service.

“Each of these companies speaks to how diverse the story is,” Van Zant said.

On May 13th, Asana is launching its Austin campaign and plans to do some digital advertising with its customers front and center. Asana also plans to take out ads on billboards on West Fifth and other signage downtown.

logoAnd Van Zant will give a talk on accountability at Capital Factory open to the public. Later that day, Asan is hosting a happy hour with tacos and tequila. On May 20th, Asana will provide a free lunch at Chi’Lantro. To find out where the truck will be, Asana asks people to follow its Twitter account. Asana will also host a workshop and provide training to companies interested in using the software. It’s free initially for teams of up to 15 people.

To show how Asana can improve productivity, Van Zant likes to tell the story of Emerald Therapeutics, two biotech researchers from Boston, moved out to the Bay area. They do virus research using robots. They have about 30 people before using Asana and they were spending most of their time managing, Van Zant said. Then they started using Asana and they got back about 75 percent of their time, Van Zant said.

“The same thing is true of your average middle manager inside a company anywhere,” Van Zant said. “You want that person to get back to doing work. Asana becomes the middle manager and handles all of the tedious work about work for you.”

Asana also integrates with all kinds of email systems, Dropbox, Box, Google Docs and other tools.

Editor’s note: Asana is a digital advertiser with Silicon Hills News

Car2go’s Parent Company, Moovel, Acquires Austin-based RideScout

307262RideScout, an Austin-based startup that lets people find the best transportation options, just got acquired by Moovel, the parent company of Car2go.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Today, just three years after the company was founded, I am proud to announce that RideScout has been acquired by car2go North America, a Daimler brand,” Joseph Kopser, the company’s founder and CEO, wrote in an email announcing the acquisition.

Moovel, formerly known as Daimler Mobility Services, also acquired Hamburg-based mytaxi, according to a news release.

“We are very pleased to welcome RideScout and mytaxi as new members of the moovel family”, Robert Henrich, CEO at moovel GmbH, said in a news release. “The acquisition of RideScout and Intelligent Apps pushes our global strategy a significant step forward. We are investing further in the development and growth of urban mobility in North America, Germany and other parts of the world. Our mutual objectives are the expansion of our leadership role on the international market and to continue our pioneering efforts to radically simplify the future of mobility.”

“When we launched the app November of 2013, I thought that day might be the best of our company’s history, but it was only the start of things to come,” Kopser wrote. “We continued to build a superstar team and, subsequently, we launched RideScout in 69 North American cities.”

RideScout will operate as a subsidiary of Car2go North America and Kopser and Craig Cummings, Ridescout’s chief strategy officer, will continue to manage the business, according to Moovel, based in Stuttgart, Germany. The company’s mobile phone app lets consumers search and compare aggregated ground transportation options to find the best one.

The partnership with Car2go will let RideScout “realize our vision and build a better, stronger product for our users and our customers. Very soon, you can expect an improved RideScout app experience and a B2B solution that helps makes cities smarter,” Kopser wrote.

RideScout, which bills itself as “the Kayak of ground transportation” has deep roots in Austin. The company won the Austin Technology Council’s Startup Showdown in 2013. It also started out in the Austin Technology Incubator. The company has raised more than $1 million in funding. Kopser and Cummings are both U.S. Army Veterans. Kopser thought up the idea for RideScout while commuting to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He wanted a tool to show him his best options for getting to work. When he couldn’t find one, he decided to create it along with co-founder Cummings.

RideScout Expands to San Francisco

SFLaunchRideScout, an app that helps people find transportation, announced it is expanding to the San Francisco area.
The Austin-based company has also recently expanded its coverage to include “Sidecar, Silvercar, Muni, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit, Blue & Gold Fleet, Baylink Ferry and SamTrans — along with Flywheel, City CarShare, Bay Area Bike Share, and Scoot– as well as walking, driving, and even parking with Parking Panda,” according to its news release.
The free mobile app, available for both iOS and Android mobile systems, aggregates all ground transportation options for users.
“From day one, we have received requests for RideScout in San Francisco, as people have seen how easy and efficient it is to get around a city with our app,” Joseph Kopser, RideScout Co-Founder and CEO said in a news release. “The Bay Area has a wealth of ground transportation options, but the fastest or cheapest ride is not always clear. With RideScout, people can choose the best transportation option based on their needs right then and there, wherever they are, sorting by arrival time, cost or type of ride.”
RideScout is also available in Washington, D.C., where it launched in November of 2013 and Austin. It plans to add more partners in the Spring.

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