SA’s AURA launches WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with Tracker

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South African security and medical response startup AURA has launched what it claims is the world’s first WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with Tracker, one of the country’s most trusted names in stolen vehicle recovery.

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, which has secured a couple of tranches of funding from HAVAÍC, a South African investment and advisory firm, has now partnered with Tracker’s to roll out the CareGuard service. CareGuard offers rapid mobile emergency response anywhere, anytime within South Africa, and enables subscribers to request immediate mobile armed response assistance wherever they are by sharing a location pin in WhatsApp.

The WhatsApp security chatbot connects to AURA’s nationwide network of over 1,500 armed responders. By making use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline its system, the AURA-backed Tracker CareGuard solution ensures that the closest responders are dispatched to a distress call.

Warren Myers, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of AURA, said the new service illustrated the power of technology in preventing and combating crime, and the role it plays in enabling South African businesses to offer innovative security products and services to customers. 

“The Tracker CareGuard service is another important step towards increasing the accessibility of crucial emergency services in South Africa where the vast majority of people are unable to afford the benefits of private security,” he said.

Myers said AURA’s aim has always been to deploy technology to create a more inclusive security landscape. 

“WhatsApp is used by over two billion people in over 180 countries. With such widespread popularity and reach in South Africa, WhatsApp is the most coherent delivery tool to put private security in the hands of those who need it at an affordable price point. Such a tool is not only easy to use, but is easily shareable too, making it a quick and responsive means of fighting crime,” 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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