It’s been successful in Europe and has been positioned for a big push in the U.S. But an unexpected turn of events has lead to an investment by a Hollywood star in the form of a new undisclosed investment by actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
She actually discovered the app after her daughter Willow began using it fall of 2012 and realised it might dovetail with her work as an advocate for the rights of human trafficking victims, given that bSafe is all about personal safety.
Bipper founder Silje Vallestad, who moved to the U.S. last year, received an out-of-the-blue call from Hollywood and the deal was sealed at the Smith family residence at a lunch event with First Lady, Michelle Obama. Every day stuff really…
Initially Smith was to promote the launch of Bipper’s safety products, bSafe and MobileKids, in the U.S., but ended up investing as well.
In a statement Pinkett Smith said: “”bSafe is a safety service that can easily be used by anyone… I chose it because I saw the potential to solve real problems for kids, parents, and anyone looking to increase their overall safety. I have great confidence in Silje and her team and look forward to working closely with them to increase the reach and impact of an already fantastic security tool.”
bSafe has competition in the form of PanicGuard, an app which sounds an alarm, will SMS a contact, start recording video and track your location. But it’s expensive ($6 a month), and hasn’t had the growth of bSafe.
The service (has both a free version, and a premium version which costs $2 per month or $20 yearly) alerts your friends or family when you hit the panic button on the app, but also secures evidence and broadcasts a time-stamped video recording to them and sends them a map with your location. It additionally allows you friends to follow you home with live GPS tracking, broadcast just one location, and a ‘Fake Call’ feature makes the phone ring like a real phone call to help the user get out of an uncomfortable situation.
Founder Silje Vallestad has now moved to the U.S. to fund-raise a Series A round to take the service global.