The expansion to Kenya follows a partnership with Kenyan company KK Security, owned by GardaWorld. The innovative SA-born tech startup will offer its emergency and medical response services in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The aim of the expansion of its current product offering is in response to the current limited capacity of offering medical response services in Kenya. In addition, the startup’s service will be more widely available in Kenya and more affordable for locals in the region.
Warren Myers, founder, and CEO of AURA comments on the expansion of the startup’s footprint into East Africa and the appointment of Hilary Itela as General manager for the startup’s presence in the region.
“We are excited to have someone of Itela’s calibre join our team as we explore the many unique opportunities within the East African market. Kenya has a strong, but fragmented private security and emergency medical industry. It provides an ideal opportunity for AURA to create an effective and efficient response network. Similar to South Africa, Kenya is plagued by significant crime issues, in particular, road safety, street crime, home invasions, burglaries, and carjackings. With a high smartphone penetration rate, we are able to provide our users with affordable and accessible on-demand security and medical response and help keep people in those areas safe.”
Itela has over 15 years of experience in various management roles in East and Central Africa. He will be responsible for growing AURA’s business presence across the region and has a wealth of experience within various sectors from eCommerce, security to renewable energy, and more.
“I look forward to shaping a business that will contribute to the safety and security of the community and create employment opportunities that positively impact the economies in which we operate,” explains Itela.
Founded in 2016 by Warren Myers, the South African-born tech startup focuses on security tech and medical response.
The AURA digital platform makes use of GPS, smart technology, and an app. The app provides a panic button that the user would be able to press in an emergency situation. Through GPS the app would be able to connect an individual to the nearest response unit. The user would also be able to monitor the response unit in real-time through the app.
The app and the AURA platform will ensure that respondents reach users faster and will eliminate the need for call centres that have been used in the traditional security sector.
The startup aims to bring together security companies across South Africa onto one digital platform. This platform would ensure that users would have a quick response to those who have an emergency at any time and any place
The startup aims to further its global expansion during the course of this year.
Lits, who has joined Aura as chairman, will assist the company’s CEO, Warren Myers, to “maximise the opportunities that exist for the growing platform business”, according to a statement from Aura.
“In my seven-year tenure at Uber, I have learnt some valuable lessons and I hope to share these with the Aura team while helping them continue on their important journey of democratising access to security solutions and medical response across South Africa,” said Lits in the statement.
Lits spent seven years at Uber, launching the US-headquartered ride-hailing service in South Africa as its first GM. Before that, he worked in leveraged finance at Investec.