Regina gas price monitoring website and app developer GasBuddy has opened a Boston office, near North Station, and appointed Walt Doyle as its new CEO as well as making several key executive hires.
Co-founders Dustin Coupal and Jason Toews will step back from day-to-day leadership roles but will stay on as advisors on product and growth strategy.
Doyle was previously the founder and CEO of Where Inc, a location-based media company acquired in 2011 by PayPal Media Network.
“There are very few technology companies in the world that have both a large and highly engaged consumer media property as well as strong B2B SaaS offering,” said Doyle. “The GasBuddy team, community of users, and network of retail partners is amazing — it’s a privilege to come into this opportunity and take us into the next chapter.”
Indeed. GasBuddy is truly one of Canada’s most significant, and least reported on, business technology stories, with an army of 15 million active users who supply the company its most valuable asset, its data, and over 150 gas station convenience store chains as customers for its SaaS platform.
Co-founders Coupal and Toews started the company in 2000, with $4,000 of their own money, no venture capital or other institutional investment, and zero media coverage.
GasBuddy started as a website at first, and released its Android, Google and Apple app in 2009.
They still get very little media coverage, but every other aspect of GasBuddy has changed significantly, other than the location of their headquarters in Regina.
Among several other key hires announced by GasBuddy are chief information officer David Banks, formerly with Cumberland Farms, vice-president of product development Joshua Herzig-Marx, co-founder of Incentive Targeting Inc., a mobile targeted content and analytics company acquired by Google in 2012, and chief marketing officer Mike Schneider, former VP of marketing at Skyhook Wireless.
“Walt and the team he has assembled are the catalyst we need to enter a new chapter of growth and expansion,” said Jason Toews, GasBuddy’s co-founder. “Every day millions of people turn to GasBuddy to make fuel-purchasing decisions; the experience that this team brings will accelerate the development of new features and revenue models that will turn GasBuddy into a global brand and company.”
In 2014, after 14 years of building an improbable technology success story based in Regina, Saskatchewan, GasBuddy was acquired by an American company, the Oil and Price Information Service (OPIS).
In a 2014 interview with Cantech Letter, GasBuddy co-founder and CEO Jason Toews said when asked about the company’s future, “In five years, I think one of the big things for us is to monetize the data better, through Price Pro but also getting more convenience store chains to sign up to OpenStore. We want to continue to bring value to OpenStore customers. Part of the initiative to get coupons into GasBuddy is to get more coupons for convenience stores. And this brings value to consumers, too. If you get a good deal on something, it helps people. I think we want to focus on the opportunities in front of us and try to do them well. We may look at expanding internationally, with GasBuddy, into other markets and possibly other verticals, other than gas.”
GasBuddy has plans to expand into Australia in Q1 2016, with “two additional European markets to follow.”
GasBuddy is also on a hiring binge, looking to fill 20 positions in Boston, New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Regina.