SA’s AURA raises first tranche of $475k funding from HAVAÍC

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South African cloud-based security and safety startup AURA has raised its first external funding from investment and advisory firm HAVAÍC, which has advanced the first tranche of a ZAR6 million (US$475,00) round that will be completed by other parties in the next few months.

AURA has developed a cloud-based security and safety platform that provides on-demand, geographically-variable security responses from an aggregated collection of the best independent armed reaction companies in South Africa.

Its solution allows for a shift from location-specific protection to location-independent response and support, and offers a means of aggregating the supply of an otherwise fragmented industry without the need for the significant acquisitions activity that would ordinarily be associated with consolidation.

The startup has already concluded agreements with a number of high-profile corporate users and well-established consumer apps, enabling their staff and customers to have access to armed response protection whilst carrying out their normal work duties outside of a fixed location.

HAVAÍC has partnered with AURA to advance the first part of its funding, which will be added to by other funds and investors over the course of this year. HAVAÍC’ chief executive officer (CEO) Ian Lessem, who has joined the AURA board in a non-executive capacity, said his firm was “very excited by the prospects of growing AURA’s traction with individuals, corporates, organisations and smaller security providers”.

“The unique and cost-effective benefits for the corporate and insurance sectors, and AURA’s future home automation and security joint ventures make it a potential game changer for many industries,” Lessem said.

“Its technology and systems will ensure that people feel safer in their daily routines, as they will now be able to access emergency security services when out of their homes or places of work.”

AURA CEO Warren Myers said the startup believed the only way South Africa was going to climb out of its crime crisis was by creating and executing disruptive, scalable and data-driven technology to make security more affordable, accessible, and effective.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with HAVAÍC. Over and above the capital raise, they bring a well-diversified arsenal of valuable skill sets and business networks,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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