Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2017 as of today
£ 343.535 Million

Hope is a Virtual BFF to Tell Your Friends You Are Safe

It has happened to a lot of us to get home after a night out with friends, and then spend the rest of the night torturously wondering whether our bezzies made it back safe and sound.

Technological solutions to keep track of where our friends are abound, but they tend to show each person’s exact location all the time, which puts off a lot of privacy-minded users.

To solve that, London-based entrepreneur Victoria Haynes created Hope, an iPhone app that helps people— especially young women— be sure their friends are okay, without being too invasive.

The app is built around  a geofencing system showing if a user is “in” or “out” some designated spaces such as one’s home or workplace, with the option of indicating how many hours they have been out for; another gauge displays whether their phone’s battery is full, charging or about to die.

This is coupled with a sticker-based messaging platform where BFFs can check on each other (and maybe send heads-ups about low batteries.)

hope-your-bff-mockup

Hope shows whether a user is in” or “out” some designated spaces such as one’s home or workplace. This is coupled with a sticker-based messaging platform where friends can check on each other (image via Hope)

“A lot of my friends are online dating, so I wanted to make the messaging part super quick and non-intrusive, ideal to use while you’re having a conversation with somebody,” Haynes says. “So we added a one-touch function with quick messages like ‘charge your phone’ or ‘are you okay?’”

Beyond that, Hope aims at becoming a sort of friendly assistant at the behest of the millennial female user. It already possesses a  bot feature able to perform simple tasks such as calling an Uber cab, booking a restaurant table, or shop online.

Over time, Haynes wants to add more powerful Artificial Intelligence capabilities to make Hope smarter and more tailored to the each person’s habits and schedule.

“It’ll able to learn the user’s behaviour, learn your likes and dislikes and actually become more of a personal concierge,” she says.

The company has so far only closed a family and friends funding round, but it is going to start fundraising in early 2017. In the meanwhile, though, Haynes claims the app is already receiving good feedback.

“We got a lot of compliments from the female tech space, but I also got great feedback from a people who are more concerned or more worried than normal, especially from young women’s mothers, ” she says.

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BY SHACK15

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