Sara Murray founded Buddi in 2007. The idea for the mini-trackers came about after Murray lost sight of her daughter in a supermarket. She was told to wait in the car park and watch out for cars leaving with her child in the back. The experience was harrowing, and convinced Murray that there had to be a better way to keep tabs on your loved ones.
The company has not had an easy ride. Teething problems with the technology meant that the device had to go through several iterations before it could hit the market. But now is Buddi's time to shine.
The ink has just dried on a deal with Mace, the US based personal security company, in a deal that will see Murray's Buddi tracking system distributed across the US. The Buddi devices have found a lucrative market - not in errant children - but in adults suffering from dementia. This revenue stream accounts for some 95% of Buddi's turnover in the UK.
Sara Murray is excited by the potential of this deal to give Buddi a real toehold in this cash-generating niche across the Atlantic. "I am delighted to have signed this agreement", she says. "Buddi is being widely used across the UK by local authorities, police forces and businesses, benefiting thousands of vulnerable people. It is a natural step for us to now enter the US market, and we are excited about the potential."
Dennis Raefield, CEO and president of Mace says: "This is a game changer for the US market. For 18 months, Mace has been researching GPS enabled devices that will track and report locations and panic requests from users. We have finally found a long-lasting and durable unit and will be the exclusive North American Distributor of the Mace/Buddi locator device."
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