Dunedin company GetHomeSafe has won backing from Lance Wiggs' Punakaiki Fund for its lone-worker safety app.
Punakaiki took a 17 per cent stake for $500,000 in a deal that valued the startup at $3 million. Wiggs' fund led a round that raised a total $775,000.
The smartphone app uses cellular and GPS networks to track the location of a remote worker (if they consent), with their location sent to a GetHomeSafe server every two minutes.
An alert can be sent if a working alone-staffer (or, say, hiker) fails to check-in at a set time. Check-in reminders can be sent by SMS. There's also a facility for taking notes or ticking off tasks.
The app also features immobilisation detection for "man down" alerts.
Founder Boyd Peacock, who maintains a majority stake, said he came up with the idea for the app while living in Queenstown, when he often took long bike rides.
He worried that if he failed to come home, his drongo flatmates would probably be in the pub. His absence would not be noted until he failed to show up to work a couple of days later.
Today, GetHomeSafe still includes a free recreational version, but its main focus is on a $3.50 per user per month commercial version, which includes a web portal for managers keeping tabs on multiple employees, among other frills. Bespoke deals are also available for larger organisations.
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It can be paired with GPS location devices, and integrates with another locally developed product, Eroad's fleet-tracking technology.
To some it might seem Big Brother, but Peacock told the Herald, "Yes, supervisors can see where their team is in real-time, but that is only part of the picture. Our clients are more concerned about knowing their staff are okay in real-time, where they are is secondary information."
Since its launch in 2016, GetHomeSafe has gained some 10,000 users across New Zealand and Australia, with customers including the Auckland Council, the Auckland District Health Board, MBIE, Scheider Electric and the City of Wanneroo (aka Perth's northern suburbs).
Peacock says around 9000 are covered by commercial deals.
The founder said the new investment "will allow us to accelerate our expansion, launch some exciting new products and increase integrations with clients and partners. We have been doubling or near doubling our revenue in each of the last three years, and are constantly adding new partners, clients, and end-users".
Punakaiki Fund investment manager Nadine Hill - who recently joined Wiggs' fund from NZTE, where she was an investment manager - said, "Boyd is the sort of founder that Punakaiki loves to work with: quiet, hardworking and focused and with strong values and a good way with people. We back companies with global potential – and GetHomeSafe already has overseas customers and that will only grow."