Frustrated with checking multiple apps and transit providers to find the cheapest option to get around, Avi Wilensky had enough. A developer by trade, he decided to build his website, Up Hail, as a weekend side project that would monitor and aggregate transit prices and options to make it easy for anyone to find the right transport, at the right price. “It started as a very scrappy, bare-bones side project,” he says, “and by chance, one of the largest media outlets highlighted it as one of the most useful tools on the web. Within a short time, other media covered it and the site grew to thousands of visitors per day.” With traffic coming in and a buzz around the site, Avi thought, why not make a few extra bucks monetizing the site with Google AdSense?
Within a few months, Up Hail was making several thousand dollars per month in ad revenue. “We doubled down and used the revenue to fund and rebuild the site from the ground up,” Avi recalls. “We invested in professional design, improved the infrastructure, launched mobile apps, and added a suite of new features.” His efforts paid off; the site has now been featured on many media outlets as an ingenious tool for comparing transit prices.