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With over 570k downloads, the WalkSafe App is used by those who want to keep safe 24/7, whether on a family walk, at leisure or coming home from work. By using police crime data, WalkSafe is helping users avoid recent crime hotspots and plan safer journeys.
We had the chance to interview Emma Kay to gain insight on her journey to building WalkSafe and her goals for the future of the app.
We’d love to know about your career before WalkSafe and where you first found that entrepreneurial spark.
I have a BA Honours in Early Years Education. I managed a nursery, started a nanny business, a successful EyeLash business for high profile celebrities and now I am founder of WalkSafe. I guess I’ve been an entrepreneur for quite a few years. But I am so lucky to be surrounded by experienced entrepreneurs who are helping me with WalkSafe. It’s a very exciting environment to be in and everyday I’m learning something new from them.
What is WalkSafe and what problem are you solving?
2021 was a line in the sand moment: after the tragic death of Sarah Everard and many others, society finally acknowledged the epidemic of violence against women and girls within the UK. WalkSafe found that an alarming 81% of people are worried about their safety and there was a need for an App like ours.
WalkSafe is a personal safety App that has a suite of products built around it. WalkSafe+ gives you “Safety at your fingertips” and has an interactive crime map which displays verified police data. Knowledge empowers people – to stay up to date and inform themselves of potentially dangerous crime hotspots to avoid, and to plan safer routes. Users can also share their journey with their chosen “Trusted Circle” of friends; WalkSafe automatically alerts for help should the unforeseen happen and they fail to get home on time. But we are more than an App, we have experts who deliver safety seminars for companies, and our revenue generating Business platform is designed especially for companies that want to help employees travel to and from work safely.
What can you tell us about the market and how WalkSafe is positioning itself for success?
Following the high profile death of Sarah Everard, employee safety walking to and from work is becoming the number one issue for HR managers in businesses. Women are particularly worried about travelling home late at night. There is a high need for solutions to help people avoid becoming a target of crime. WalkSafe has positioned itself as a thought leader on personal safety and street violence. Our media leadership gives us wide exposure on TV, social media and newspapers. Our App is used for consumers at home with family, at leisure and will be used in our revenue-generating multi user platform being developed for businesses. There is a need for a cost effective system that companies can use for all employees.
What does your competitive landscape look like and how does WalkSafe differentiate itself?
Our crime map differentiates WalkSafe+ and we encourage users to take preventative measures and plan safer routes to avoid becoming a target of crime. No one seems to have joined the dots that consumers are also employees and there is an opportunity to have one app and system helping people with personal safety at home with family and friends, during leisure, and travelling to and from work. We believe this one App that can be used 24/7 in all aspects of life is a major differentiator. There are a few expensive systems for senior executives however there seems to be a market gap for a cost effective system that companies can use for all employees.
Could you tell us about some of your biggest achievements to date?
We are the most downloaded personal safety App in the UK with over 570,000 downloads. We were top of the App store in March 2021. We are media leaders in this space (BBC, Sky News, Daily mail, The Times) and again featured on TV and in print this month. We are backed by Fearless Adventures VC and the ex COO of the famous Social Chain. Our latest version WalkSafe+ has a score of 4.9 on the App store. This month we have launched a major partnership with Budweiser who are sponsoring a nationwide campaign “The fun’s not over till every bud is home – Get everyone home with WalkSafe”.
What do you hope WalkSafe will achieve in the next few years?
We want WalkSafe to be the App people use at home, leisure and walking to and from work. We want to be the company people turn to for safety seminars, media comment, and our Business platform.
What do you plan to do with the money you raise?
This raise is all about developing our revenue generating WalkSafe business platform which we will sell to companies. It allows them to share the journeys of their employees to check they all get home safe. So for example we know pub and restaurant managers worry if their team all get home safely when they walk home late at night. Our new system will automatically count them home and alert the manager if anyone does not arrive. The whole team can share their journeys if they want to.
What do you love to do in your free time?
As a mum of two small kids and a founder of a start up I don’t have much free time. But I love taking them out on walks (safely!) and keeping fit. Exercise is really important to me, especially for my mental health. I also enjoy seeing friends and going to the theatre where possible.
If you weren’t building WalkSafe, what do you think you’d be doing?
Difficult to say. WalkSafe is my passion at the moment and we truly all believe we can make this world a safer place.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far building WalkSafe?
There has to be a strong need, and with a strong experienced team eventually the solutions will come into place.
WalkSafe has reached its target and is currently overfunding. This is a great opportunity to invest in a company that is on a mission to make walking safer for everyone. Check out the WalkSafe campaign here.