Nedbank has made an equity investment into industry-leading technology led emergency response platform, RapidDeploy. The bank is the first South African firm to invest in RapidDeploy, which was established in South Africa after its founders Steven Raucher and Brett Meyerowitz experienced the antiquated, legacy technology that was available within the country’s public safety sector.
Raucher experienced a personal tragedy when his brother drowned at sea and, to honour him, he volunteered for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) of South Africa. This is where he came to realise that the emergency tools available could not achieve what was needed to respond to people and ultimately save lives in an urgent and efficient manner. Meyerowitz came to the same conclusion as a volunteer paramedic around the same time and RapidDeploy was born, with the primary purpose of saving lives through reduced response times.
According to Johann Van Zyl: Head Principal and Alternative Investment at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, the bank’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.
“At Nedbank, we recognise that there’s far more to technology than just enabling customer engagement or helping to build a business,” Van Zyl explains, “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.”
Since moving their headquarters and primary focus to Austin, Texas, in the United States, RapidDeploy has partnered with nine states and numerous local Emergency Communications Centers to bring modern technology to Public Safety across the country. Save stories are regularly received from customers, in which they share the impact of the technology via specific examples of incidents in which it has helped to save lives. Like in Kansas, where a caller had a stroke and couldn’t talk; and in Navajo County, Arizona where a kidnapping victim was rescued; or in Sarasota County, Florida where a caller was located during a hurricane, and many other compelling Customer Stories.
While headquartered in the United States, RapidDeploy sticks to its roots with part of their engineering and product teams based in South Africa. The investment from Nedbank shows continued focus on these teams bringing revolutionary technology to public safety. RapidDeploy is currently focused on public safety in the United States, but getting additional investment from global firms opens up possibilities to take the technology to other parts of the world.
“We are honored that Nedbank has chosen to invest in RapidDeploy,” said Steven Raucher, Co-Founder and CEO of 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.”
Van Zyl points out that 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,” he says, “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.”
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.