Find out how Snowball Technology’s co-founders developed the idea for their company, from identifying a need to running a platform for mobile transactions in the transportation sector.

When Ciaran Fisher and Bob Jiang started out in 2012, choosing where to launch their new tech company was perhaps the easiest decision to make. There was only one obvious choice: China.

With a population of over one billion, the Chinese market was (and still of course is) one of the biggest in the world. Chinese consumers were already extremely tech savvy. Habitual use of mobile devices was the norm for big swathes of an ever-expanding urban population.

The more difficult decision was what to do. How could Bob and Ciaran best leverage their expertise in NFC technology to serve tech-minded, urban Chinese consumers?

There are many other types of services requiring near-field contactless (NFC) data transfer. Mobile payments and secure access are two of the more common examples. The contactless payment industry was already saturated, though, and secure access was not too compelling at the time. But there was one intriguing sector with unmet needs.

That sector was transit.

Using decades of experience in NFC and semiconductors, the co-founders decided to develop a platform for public transportation access and payment. They would begin in the ideal testing ground afforded to them by China, perfect their platform and services, and then offer their solution to the rest of the urbanised world.

After securing start-up capital from some big firms, such as Tencent, the two co-founders developed their idea about bringing together the fragmented ecosystem of services and devices for ticketing in China’s transit sector. And that is how Snowball’s end-to-end service platform was born.

Fast-forward a few years later and it’s clear that Snowball Technology is thriving.

Snowball’s platform is helping over 100 cities with a secure, fast and easy-to-use solution for virtual transit cards, and, every day, the company’s management team and engineers learn more about the latest smart devices, the services of transit agencies and the needs of commuters.

Snowball pulls all these diverse needs and complexities together to make mobile ticketing for transit not only possible but the best it can be, too.

Making public transport just that bit more convenient, faster and more user-friendly is the mission of the company and it’s one that Snowball has progressively globalised. 

These improvements might seem small, taken individually. But when you multiply these micro-changes by Snowball’s urban coverage into the hundreds of millions, you can see the big impact the company is having on transport, smart devices, on cities and on the world.