Financial services firm Nedbank has made an equity investment into emergency response technology platform RapidDeploy to deliver life-saving rapid response technology for public safety.
The firm notes that investment in such technologies is necessary owing to the antiquated, legacy technology that is available within the country’s public safety sector.
RapidDeploy was established in South Africa after its founders Steven Raucher and Brett Meyerowitz, during volunteer work at emergency response organisations, experienced that the emergency tools available could not achieve what was needed to respond to people and save lives in an urgent and efficient manner.
RapidDeploy was founded with the primary purpose of saving lives through reduced response times.
The investment from Nedbank aims to bring revolutionary technology to public safety. RapidDeploy is currently focused on public safety in the US, but getting additional investment from global firms opens up possibilities to take the technology to other parts of the world.
Nedbank’s decision to invest in RapidDeploy was based on the strong alignment of the company’s innovation-led business model with Nedbank’s policy of investing in world-leading businesses and technologies that can deliver sustainable positive impact, says Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking principal and alternative investment head Johann van Zyl.
“At Nedbank, we recognise that there’s far more to technology than just enabling customer engagement or helping to build a business, and the fact that RapidDeploy technology is literally saving lives means this venture capital technology investment gives good effect to our Nedbank purpose of applying our financial expertise to do good,” he adds.
The investment in RapidDeploy is in keeping with Nedbank’s venture capital mandate to invest in, and partner with, disruptive, category-defining technology companies.
“As an on-balance-sheet investor, our venture capital approach is highly strategic, and we prefer to work closely with our investee companies, so we are looking forward to supporting RapidDeploy’s future growth and expansion as the opportunities present, particularly given that their success and growth will ultimately translate into even more lives saved,” says Van Zyl.
The investment by Nedbank and other venture capitalists ensures RapidDeploy can continue to develop the modern technology needed to complete its mission to save lives with reduced response times and make a difference in communities around the world, he added.
While headquartered in the US, RapidDeploy sticks to its roots with some members of its engineering and product teams based in South Africa.
“We are honored that Nedbank has chosen to invest in RapidDeploy. As our first South African institutional investor, Nedbank ensures our continued investment in our teams in South Africa and enables us to expand and grow,” says Raucher, who is RapidDeploy CEO.
After moving its headquarters and primary focus to Austin, Texas, in the US, RapidDeploy partnered with nine US states and numerous local emergency communications centres to bring modern technology to public safety across the country.
It regularly receives 'save stories' from customers in which they share examples of the impact of the technology that helped to save lives, such as a caller in Kansas who was saved after having a stroke and being unable to talk.