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GlobeSherpa, the Portland startup that's developing a paperless e-ticket system for TriMet, has formed a new partnership with INIT, a global provider of intelligent transportation and fare collection systems.
The partnership with the German company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Chesapeake, Va.., could provide 3-year-old GlobeSherpa with international growth opportunities. INIT serves about 300 contracts internationally, including Asia, Europe and North America.
GlobeSherpa will provide INIT with an e-ticket system that allows transit riders to show on-screen tickets to drivers or fare inspectors to prove they've paid their fare. The system will be labeled under the INIT brand as MOBILEticket.
INIT is best known for its modern radio and dispatch system known as CAD-AVL, or computer aided dispatch, automatic vehicle location services.
Nat Parker, GlobeSherpa's chief executive officer, says the partnership also will allow the companies to offer complementary services.
INIT, for example, doesn't have a mobile ticketing system, while the much smaller GlobeSherpa doesn't have the resources to make sales pitches or provide crucial support roles for their services.
"INIT has boots on the ground in a way we don't," says Parker. "Part of the deal is they do training, project management and implementation. We're the engine under the hood. That's valuable to us. Because it allows us to concentrate on innovation.
Parker said the companies have signed a revenue-sharing agreement and that he hopes some of INIT's existing contracts around the world will want to use GlobeSherpa's mobile ticketing system.
He also said the two companies are pursuing new clients together. Parker and INIT executives, for instance, were in Phoenix, Ariz., for three days early this week to promote the partnership and pitch to prospective clients.
In early March, GlobeSherpa, which has nine employees in Portland, announced it had raised $1.3 million to fund a national rollout.
TriMet is currently testing GlobeSherpa's e-ticket system and is scheduled to introduce it to the public this summer. GlobeSherpa is still trying to work out a deal with the City of Portland to develop an e-ticket system for the Portland Streetcar.