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First Uber partnership, now Aura secures first R2m from HAVAÍC in equity raise


Days after concluding a deal with ride-hailing company Uber, Joburg-based startup Aura announced today that it has secured the first R2-million in a R6-million equity raise to help fund its cloud-based security platform.

News24 reported on Thursday that last week that the startup revealed that it is had teamed up with Uber to supply its drivers with a virtual panic button linked to their cellphone, that when pressed connects drivers to the nearest private security vehicle, as well as to police and emergency services.

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It follows the announcement last week that Uber’s Uber Eats had acquired SA-founded company orderTalk for an undisclosed sum.

Read more: Three reasons why Uber acquisition of SA grown orderTalk is so big a deal [Updated]

In a press release today, Cape Town based venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC said it had advanced the first tranche of the money, to the startup. The remainder will be raised from other equity funds and private investors in the next few months, it said.

The percentage equity stake that Aura will give up in the company for the R6-million investment was not disclosed.

Following Uber partnership announced last week, Aura has secured the firs R2-million in a R6-million equity raise

Aura has developed what HAVAÍC referred to in a press release as an “industry leading” cloud-based security and safety platform. The platform provides on-demand geographically variable security response from the aggregation of a substantial number of the best independent armed reaction companies in South Africa.

Aura has concluded agreements with a number of corporate users and well-established consumer apps, enabling their staff and customers to have access to have access to armed response protection.

The capital being raised will be used by Aura to further develop the platform and expand the geographic reach.

Aura CEO Warren Myers says the startup hopes to raise the remainder by November. He said as part of the deal with Uber the startup’s panic button would be phased-in gradually over the next few months for all 20 000 Uber drivers.

While HAVAÍC CEO Ian Lessem has joined the Aura board in a non-executive capacity, the VC’s executive director Grant Rock said the VC is in the process of concluding further deals in Johannesburg. He added that at present the VC is seeing more investment opportunities in Johannesburg than Cape Town.

Read more: HAVAÍC holds onto five investments despite two offers, says Ian Lessem [Q&A]

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