German security start-up SEON invests in SA expansion

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Finn Plotz, co-founder and MD at SEON.
Finn Plotz, co-founder and MD at SEON.

SEON, a German security start-up says it will be investing heavily in its SA businesses, after securing R55-million (€3 million) in funding from numerous private investors through a German government-funded venture.

Founded in 2017, Hamburg-headquarter security start-up enables emergency services to rapidly respond to distressed people during by providing a quick response device that prompts emergency services staff with the users’ exact GPS location, to render faster responses.

Finn Plotz, co-founder and MD at SEON, says the start-up will be utilising the funding to grow its Johannesburg and Cape Town based offices, through job creation, as it looks to increase its local market share.

“South Africa is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also one of the most dangerous.

“We have chosen the country as the best place in the world to invest in, due to its thriving tech ecosystem and its high levels of awareness around personal security. We believe the nature of our platform - which improves emergency response coordination – can help enhance security and health responses for all citizens,” notes Plotz.

According to the company, the SEON app is linked to local security and medical companies to provide first responders with the tools they need to receive alerts sooner, instantly dispatch resources, and communicate effectively.

The company has partnered with the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) to provide CCID patrollers with a quick response device to guide them during an emergency.

South Africa has well-documented issues with emergency response times. In a 2017 household survey by StatsSA, the Western Cape was the only province where a significant portion of households said it takes less than 30 minutes for police to respond to an emergency call.

In the North West, more than half of households said the police take longer than two hours to arrive – if they arrive at all, according to the survey.

Plotz and his co-founders, Nils Loewe (CTO) and Michel Weiss (COO), believe there is a great opportunity for technology to be used to improve coordination among and within emergency services and ultimately reduce the time it takes for emergency services to arrive.

“Response times have a massive impact on community safety, and any improvement we can make here will directly benefit local communities. As part of our investment into SA, we are partnering with armed response security companies and public safety services to also improve collaboration between different providers in an effort to ensure every South African experiencing an emergency can get the help they need, quickly,” adds Plotz.

Funds will also be invested in rolling out the technology to additional security services and developing new technology both in SA and Germany.

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