Startup Success: ‘Guardian angel’ FlamAid helping users get home safely

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As part of our series exploring successful startup stories from our events, we spoke with FlamAid founder Julieta Rueff.

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women globally have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence.

Created in 2022, FlamAid is an emergency geolocating, alarm-emitting ‘grenade’ intended to help users get around safely.

We chatted with FlamAid founder Julieta Rueff about the company’s mission to protect users and to ensure that those travelling on their own have a safety plan in place.

Tell us a bit about your company and its mission.

FlamAid is the first pacific, personal defence grenade. It is always with you, hanging from your purse.

Pull it and it will automatically emit a 110dB alarm, and will also send your GPS location to emergency contacts and local police.

Our purpose is that you always get home.

What was your first experience at our events, and why did you choose to attend?

We chose to attend Web Summit because we had heard incredible, first-hand experiences from other founders. 2023 was my first year attending, and it did not disappoint!

On the opening day, I was lucky to run into one of my biggest inspirations, Chelsea Manning. I felt very blessed to be able to listen to amazing speakers and interact with the international startup ecosystem.

What has Flamaid’s reception been like? Have you had much funding and/or interest in investment?

The reception for FlamAid has been overwhelmingly positive, reflecting both the interest we’ve garnered and the funding we’ve secured.

When we arrived at Web Summit, our primary objective was to conclude our pre-seed funding round. The event proved to be an ideal platform for this purpose, as it allowed us to showcase FlamAid to a diverse and expert audience.

Two people holding up a grenade-like object. Image: FlamAid

When is FlamAid expected to be made available to the public?

We’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of our free FlamAid app, a crucial step towards accessible community safety. Our app empowers users by allowing them to instantly forward their location to all their emergency contacts, simply by activating the app.

While it’s true that security companies have offered similar functionalities, these are often locked behind a paywall. We firmly believe in the principle that freedom and basic safety are universal rights. This initiative is part of our commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to fundamental protection services without any cost.

However, the FlamAid app is not a fool-proof safety method.

For comprehensive protection, we recommend combining different mechanisms, as our pacific grenade device does. It not only sends the user’s GPS location to the police and emergency contacts, but also emits a sound alarm.

Our decision to release the FlamAid app for free stems from a deep-rooted conviction that some things should always belong to the people. This release does not negate the value of our FlamAid gadget – rather, it complements it by offering an additional, accessible layer of security for whoever needs it.

Our pacific grenades will launch in March 2024.

Have you made useful contacts since attending Web Summit?

Since our participation in Web Summit and being featured in Forbes [FlamAid appeared in Forbes after meeting journalist John Koetsier while exhibiting at the event], we’ve experienced a significant surge in beneficial contacts and opportunities. This exposure has been instrumental in propelling our journey, especially concerning our funding efforts.

When we attended Web Summit, our funding round was already open and halfway through. The platform and visibility provided by these prestigious avenues greatly accelerated our progress.

The Forbes feature, in particular, played a pivotal role in enhancing our credibility and attracting attention from potential investors and partners. These events have been catalysts that have enabled us to close our funding round successfully.

The interest and enthusiasm generated from these exposures has been overwhelming and we are very grateful for the opportunity.

Would you recommend our events to other founders?

Definitely! It’s a great place to meet other founders, partners and investors. And Night Summit is great fun too.

Would you be interested in attending Web Summit events in the future?

For sure. We are very excited for the new upcoming events, especially Web Summit Qatar 2024.

Find out more about our startup success stories here.

Image: Web Summit

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