SOUTH AFRICA – AURA, an African-based security and medical response marketplace, has secured US$4 million in a Series A funding round, which was led by MultiChoice Group (MCG), KLT Holdings and Buffet Investments.

This positions AURA security and medical services favourably for its global expansion plans.

Founded in 2016 by Warren Myers, Ryan Green and Adam Pantanowitz, AURA leverages artificial intelligence to enable access to private/public security and medical response units from any location.

“South Africa has one of the most advanced private security and emergency response industries which has the capacity to ensure safety to a greater number of people who might not currently have access to it,” said Myers.

“AURA enables seamless and affordable ways for anyone to get immediate and trusted access to both private and public emergency response resources in an emergency, creating a world where everyone is safe.”

Currently, AURA has over 400,000 active users on its network and expanded to East Africa and the UK earlier this year.

In Ryan Green’s words, the company is gearing some of the funding towards hiring top talent to head up each new region while growing teams in established regions – especially the tech team. “The result is stronger relationships and value propositions for suppliers at all levels in the marketplace.”

Speaking further, Myers said the result is that the global safetech marketplace has boomed and the company currently has a little over 50 staff members and are looking to double in size over the next 12 months.

Adam Pantanowitz pointed out that there are an estimated 7,000 private security response vehicles in South Africa that only service two percent of the population. On top of that, these vehicles are only in service five percent of the time.

“AURA allows the seamless connection of people in distress, whether it’s safety or medical distress, with our network of responders,” noted Pantanowitz.

“We aggregate emergency response companies and through our technology solution, we’re able to dispatch responders to any distress signal, anywhere in the country. This signal can come from a smartphone, a Bluetooth device or any internet-connected device.”

He added that the marketplace uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hone its system and ensure that the closest responders are dispatched to a distress call.

“This means that AURA response times are reduced because security companies are aggregated and dispatched from one trusted source with a birds-eye view of the situation. Response times drop from an average of 30 minutes to as low as one to five minutes,” he said.

AURA has the vision to democratise access to its network and make emergency response much more accessible. The new funding would enable AURA to enter new markets with a thorough plan for success.

“It will ensure that we create marketplace fluidity as quickly as possible rather than bootstrapping activities that slow down the required traction. This next year will be focused on that growth – ramping up operations as seamlessly and efficiently as possible,” Green said.

According to Myers, this is just the first step towards the company’s vision of a safer future for all. “We hope to become the central repository for risk data – not only responding to emergencies but to proactively predict and deal with any type of violent crime, whether on a one-on-one scale or the size of a riot. The data is already available to do so, it’s just not centralised. Yet.”

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