Local tech revolutionises rescues across the globe.

One of Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking’s venture capital success stories, making an incredible impact internationally, is the result of a partnership between Nedbank and the South African emergency response platform, RapidDeploy.

Nedbank was the 1st South African company to invest in RapidDeploy, which was established in Cape Town, and has since revolutionised rescue operations as far afield as the United States.

RapidDeploy is the industry’s only truly open and integrated response platform, transforming 911 communications centres of any size into data-centric organisations. RapidDeploy achieves new levels of situational awareness and reduces 911 response times by seamlessly integrating 3rd-party data, ensuring that it is available when, where and how telecommunicators and 1st responders need it. The company’s cloud-native platform includes analytics and mapping applications.

The tech start-up was formed by Steven Raucher and Brett Meyerowitz after they had encountered antiquated, legacy technology that was available within South Africa’s public safety sector. Raucher experienced a personal tragedy when his brother drowned at sea and, to honour him, volunteered for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) of South Africa. This is where he came to realise that the emergency tools available could not achieve what was needed to respond to people and ultimately save lives urgently and efficiently. 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.

Johann van Zyl, Head of Principal and Alternative Investment at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking explains that 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. 'The fact that RapidDeploy technology is saving lives in the true sense, means that this venture capital technology investment gives good effect to our purpose of applying our financial expertise to do good.'


RapidDeploy and numerous local emergency communications centres bring modern technology to public safety

Since moving its headquarters to Austin, Texas in the United States, RapidDeploy has partnered with 9 states and numerous local emergency communications centres to bring modern technology to public safety across the country. Rescue stories are regularly received from clients, in which they share the impact of the technology. In 1 Kansas example, a rescue took place where a caller had experienced a stroke and couldn’t talk. Another, in Navajo County, Arizona told of a kidnapping victim being rescued. In Sarasota County, Florida a caller explained how they’d been located during a hurricane. These are among thousands of other successful international rescues, enabled by RapidDeploy’s technology.

It’s a testament to Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking’s ability to identify opportunities to grow businesses while growing the system that it is inextricably part of, which makes ecosystem thinking such a valuable tool. It’s this approach that blends expertise with cross-sector experience to see the connections that other investors might miss, which creates sustainable growth that ripples out into the world beyond. And it is what informs Nedbank’s venture capital mandate to invest in, and partner with, disruptive category-defining technology companies like RapidDeploy.

While headquartered in the United States, RapidDeploy remains true to its roots, with part of its engineering and product team based in South Africa. Although the company is currently focused on public safety in the United States, receiving additional investment from global firms opens possibilities to expand their operations. In so doing, they aim to complete their mission of starting from humble beginnings in South Africa to implementing tech that saves lives and transforms communities across the globe.

When you see unexpected connections, you see sustainable growth.