Busby has completed its seed round, backed by Saltwater Ventures, to help drive the growth of the road safety app.
The app uses sensors in a mobile phone to automatically detect a crash or a fall, geolocate the user and alert their emergency contacts.
“Busby is a great way for humans to stay connected in an intelligent future,” said Marc Shirman, general partner at Saltwater Ventures. “Housing advanced technology in a simple user interface means the application delivers an excellent experience that we can see expanding globally across bike users and other communities.”
K-Safe began developing the road safety mobile app in 2018 and released Busby via ‘soft’ launch in November 2019. The app is used by cyclists and considerate road users to predict, prevent, detect and analyse road accidents, and is now active in 24 countries across six continents.
Kirk Ryan, Busby co-founder and technical director, added: “This investment will allow us to get Busby out to even more cyclists than ever before and accelerate our ambitious plans for future developments. In the next six months, you will see innovative new features that will push the boundaries of cycling safety even further and benefit the cycling community. We look forward to bringing Busby 2.0 out shortly.”
Busby’s investment comes in the midst of COVID-19, a challenging landscape for businesses and communities alike. As the number of lone cyclists has increased and key workers are facing disruption to their usual transport routes, Busby is keen to highlight the benefits that using the app brings to cycling and helping users stay safe on the road. K-Safe will be enabling NHS staff to download the Busby Premium platform for free for the next three months.
“Busby is made by the community for the community,” said James Duffy, Busby co-founder and commercial director. “We started developing the technology after our friend and co-founder Barry was almost killed in a cycling accident involving a van, several years ago.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the feedback and praise for Busby from within the cycling community and we wanted to give something back to those on the front line, who are risking their own lives for others during this difficult time.”
Busby had early support from St. John Ambulance and K-Safe immediately partnered with technology leaders What3Words to allow an injured user’s location to be pinpointed “faster and more accurately than ever before”. If the injured user is still conscious, they will also see the St. Johns Ambulance safety checklist, to ensure they can stay safe while help is on the way.
Partners including Limar, Giro, Muc-Off, Craghoppers, QuadLock, Blackmore and Hedkayse all offer discounts off their own products and services for Busby users.
K-Safe credits a large part of the Busby seed funding investment milestone to its beta user feedback and support. Busby’s beta period started in Autumn 2019, with over 500 users who provided feedback and ideas. Now thousands of users and other companies such as Bikmo, Discount Cycling Network and cycling clubs across Europe are using Busby to protect their customers, members and employees while they’re out on the roads.
Jonny Oldenshaw, Bikmo’s partnerships manager, said: “It was a no brainer for me; my family won’t stop nagging me about my safety on the roads… helmet… check, reflectives… check, and I can happily say Busby… check! Now they don’t have to worry when I decide to add some more miles on the route and I’m not back in time for tea, as Busby hasn’t gotten in touch. It’s super easy to get this sophisticated bit of tech, all you have to do is download the app for free – so you have no excuse for not giving it a try!”