RapidDeploy, an industry-leading technology-led emergency response platform, has secured an equity investment from Nedbank. The bank is the first South African company to invest in RapidDeploy, which was founded 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’s brother drowned at sea, prompting him to serve for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) of South Africa. This is when he realized that the emergency instruments at his disposal couldn’t do what was required to respond to people and, ultimately, save lives in a timely and effective 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.
“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 centres. Part of its engineering and product teams continue to be based in South Africa, however, and it has now secured South African investors in the shape of Nedbank CIB. The company is in the process of raising additional investment from global firms to help it take its technology to other parts of the world.
“We are honoured that Nedbank has chosen to invest in RapidDeploy,” said Raucher. “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.”
Johann Van Zyl, head of principal and alternative investment at Nedbank CIB, 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, 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,” he said.
Van Zyl said the investment in RapidDeploy was 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, 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,” he said.