The announcement of the contracts follows an interview Real Business had with CEO and founder Sara Murray – the woman also responsible for the creation of Confused.com – in November, when she explained that Buddi can be 100 times bigger than it is now and has a target market worth $500bn.
Buddi’s deals take it another step closer to realising said ambition, initially supplying 50,000 units to US-based Intel-GE Care Innovations on the health side. The American company specialises in providing health management support fused with technology for individuals and institutions, and the partnership will distribute Buddi wristbands across the US, where the government fully certified the Buddi tech last week.
British designer Sebastian Conran is behind the look of the new Buddi wristband, which comes with fall detector, two-way communication and 24-hour monitoring to provide the elderly with care when they’re alone.
Australia will also help expand Buddi’s reach in the security sector, as the New South Wales Government is fitting 500 offenders with new Buddi GPS Smart Tags. The devices comprise Kevlar – otherwise found in bulletproof vests – and steel, and the software provided to security staff will send alerts if they’re meddled with or found in “exclusion zones” such as schools.
The idea for Buddi originally came to Murray when her daughter went missing while on a shopping trip, with the concept initially looking to track children in the event they were lost, though it was met with some resistance from the likes of Mothercare. The security use case in Australia shows the safety of the young is still a priority, albeit from a different approach.
Indeed, Buddi notes UK usage of Smart Tags with 37 programmes nationwide has reduced crime rates by more than 40 per cent among some offenders, while governments on five continents now use its services.
The firm claims to have shipped more units in November than in the whole of last year, with overseas markets hailed for a process that is rather straightforward when pitching than it is in Britain. Some 12 per cent of revenue was from international markets in 2013, climbing to 49 per cent this year, and it’s expected to hit 75 per cent in 2015.
It’s a testament to Murray’s sound experience as an established entrepreneur, and she’ll discuss her expertise – which has previously been recognised at the Growing Business Awards – at length as part of our First Women Summit on Wednesday 4 February.
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