MultiChoice leads R62m AURA funding round

South Africa’s leading security and medical response marketplace AURA secured R62 million in a successful Series A funding round led by MultiChoice Group, Buffet Investments and KLT Holdings. This funding will advance ambitions to expand beyond what it achieved in East Africa and the UK earlier in 2021.

The AURA marketplace gives anyone with a connected device access to the closest private and public security or medical response team.

“To accelerate the evolution of our ecosystem by offering additional value-added services to our customers, we are investing in scalable and innovative technology platforms like AURA,” says MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela about the investment strategy. “Not only does it strengthen our service offering and enhance long-term value creation for shareholders, but it also drives economic development and job creation.”

Covid-19 has exposed the need for this kind of marketplace, as general levels of anxiety have increased. The service already leads its segment in SA, with over 400 000 active users on its network. The pandemic catalysed the digital world.

“The result is that the global safetech marketplace has boomed,” says co-founder Warren Myers. “We currently have a little more than 50 staff members and are looking to double in size over the next 12 months.”

To which co-founder Ryan Green adds: “We are gearing some of the funding towards hiring top talent to head up each new region while growing teams in established regions – especially our tech team. The result is stronger relationships and value propositions for suppliers at all levels in the marketplace.”

Aura Founders: Warren Myers, Ryan Green and Adam Pantanowitz. Photograph: John Hogg

AURA’s core technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure that the closest responders are dispatched to a distress call. This means that AURA response times drop from an average of 30 minutes to as low as one to five minutes because security companies are aggregated and dispatched from one source.

The company vision is to democratise access to its network and make emergency response much more accessible, explains co-founder Adam Pantanowitz. “Because we have this scale, we’re able to increase access and improve affordability. Since AURA’s inception in 2016, there are areas previously not serviced by private security firms that now have AURA watching over them. The responder application and the AURA marketplace ensure that safety emergency units reach users faster, eliminating the need for call centres that have been used in the traditional security sector.”

The new funding deal presents an incredible opportunity for AURA to enter new markets with a thorough plan for success.

Read more: Luno and Invenfin back Root insurance API in $3m seed round

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Lindsey Schutters


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