AURA adds former Uber exec to operations team
Local security and medical response platform AURA has appointed David Myers as its new chief operations officer.
Myers was previously Uber’s GM and regional operations lead for Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA), as well as head of trust and safety for MEA.
In a statement, AURA says Myers brings with him decades of experience. He takes over from co-founder Ryan Green, who is moving into a new role within the company, it states.
Says Green: “Start-up platform COOs should be very detailed and have the desire, grit and ability to understand how everything within the business works at all levels, in order to effectively guide the broader team through the requirements, timelines and challenges that will inevitably arise. I believe David is perfect for this role and his work experience up to this point will be extremely valuable.”
Born out of the need to combat the growing crime rate in South Africa, AURA gathers and centralises data from over 170 private security companies before applying artificial intelligence to dispatch the closest vetted response vehicle to its more than 250 000 active users.
Myers comments that his new position has personal meaning. “I started my career in the security industry in SA, at first with a proactive security start-up, and then ADT Tyco, before moving to the largest and most efficient tech-enabled marketplace in the world at Uber. Combining these two allows me to leverage my learnings and experience, while having an immense impact on people’s lives.”
He also expresses excitement at getting involved in the company at its current level of operations. “AURA is primed and ready to scale. Ryan will be transitioning into the area of launching new businesses and markets, scaling the business globally, as I take over as COO. He’ll build new markets from 0 to 1, hand over to me and the operations team, and we’ll build from 1 to 100.”
Myers adds. “We can get anything on demand nowadays. You can order and get groceries, food and riding services at the push of a button, but one of the most basic needs – safety − is inaccessible. It’s the most important need of every single human. Even in developed countries, these industries have not advanced quickly enough from a tech perspective.
“AURA is the technology that finally enables this. And when people feel safe, societies thrive. No nation can move forward without it.
“The challenge of safety exists everywhere but manifests differently in different markets – in some areas it might be personal safety, in others violent or organised crime. I’m excited to work out how to address each market’s unique needs, balancing demand and supply, generating sufficient value for the marketplace, and building a sustainable business.”