Avi Wilensky, Founder

New York, NY
Spa and Beauty Today Spa and Beauty Today
Navigating transportation options

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.

The Up Hail app. The Up Hail app.
“Google’s ad network has so many small businesses. As a publisher, I love that I see local mom and pop businesses advertising on my site and that I can be a discovery tool for them as well.”
Growing and connecting with other small businesses through advertising

“Adsense can be a great revenue stream,” Avi says, “and basically runs on autopilot.” Avi uses Auto Ads with Google Adsense to automatically manage ad sales. “AdSense manages sales, invoicing, collections, accounting, and impressions,” he says, “so I can focus on other aspects of the business. Google’s ad network has so many small businesses, so I love that I see a lot of ads appear from mom and pop companies that service a visitor's region. It’s made the site a discovery mechanism for small businesses in the area, which adds value for the user.”

Avi has stuck with an ad-supported model not just for the ease of use, but also because it’s the best fit for his business. “People who come to Up Hail are more in the exploratory phase,” he explains. “They might not be as familiar with ride apps or transit options in a new location, and are likely price sensitive, so it doesn’t really make sense to charge them money upfront for access to a tool like this. I’m proud to offer the site for free and help everyone make the best transportation decisions.”

About the Publisher

Avi Wilensky is a web developer and entrepreneur based in New York. He has been building websites and online marketing campaigns since the 90’s. He has developed online products and strategies for large brands including Sony Music, Samsung, Mattel, Penguin Random House, and many others. Avi is a graduate of Rutgers University.
About the author