There was a time when Rogers would air TV commercials promoting their "Amigo" phones and plans for their safety features: person crashes their car into a snow drift. Camera focuses on their handy dandy cell phone! Now they can call for help.
How times have changed. Today, most Canadians have cell phones with many of us brandishing smartphones. So we're safe right? Maybe. Maybe not.
As a result of the ubiquitous nature of social media we have developed many loose ties. Most times, we tend to use our smartphones for tweeting, texting and taking pictures to post on photo-sharing sites. We hardly ever make phone calls anymore.
The questions then is, if there was an emergency who would you connect with? And how would you connect with them?
Enter Guardly: With the touch of a button, Guardly alerts and connects your personal safety network via voice conference, sms, and email resulting in a faster response to your emergency alert.
I had a chance to talk with Guardly CEO Josh Sookman at a recent SproutUp:
Why Guardly and why now?
When I was younger my parents wanted me to have a cell phone so that I could call in case of emergency. Today’s mobile devices are much more advanced and Guardly can truly empower people of all ages during emergencies by connecting them to family, friends and authorities with a single tap. It’s pretty amazing.
Do you feel that smartphones are the new safety device?
There is a large and growing opportunity at the intersection of personal safety and smartphone devices. The mobile industry is undergoing a vast transformation, where GPS and data-enabled devices are becoming more ubiquitous and data plans are becoming increasingly affordable. These trends, for the first time, make mobile personal safety something truly possible for the masses.
Guardly has grown rapidly since its inception in August 2010 and has added some amazingly talented individuals to its core team including Nolan Dubeau (previously at XM Radio) and Mark Pavlidis and Bretton MacLean (co-developers of TweetAgora).
While at the SproutUp several connected sources indicated that both angels and seed funds have taken strong interest in Guardly. Reports are that the company is looking to complete its seed round in the December-January timeframe.