KeepMClose Emerges, Lands First Big Customer

Ever lose a child at an Amusement Park, Mall or Airport? Not funny. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just check your phone to see their exact location at all times? No, I’m not talking about embedding a chip in your kid’s head. I’m referring to Herzelia-based KeepMClose‘s new location-based solution for keeping track of your most loved possessions in crowded places where even GPS or cellular technology is insufficient. KeepMClose’s patent-pending solution entails your child wearing an ultra-low radiation wristband and you installing their software on your phone. When you need to locate your child, simply open the app to see where they are within a few meters on a detailed location map.

Here’s a scary factoid from a Telematrix2 study; 27% of families visiting amusement parks over a 12 month period reported losing one of their children. That’s a lot of freaked out parents that probably would have paid a little something extra on top of their admission ticket to avoid the heart attack. Merlin Entertainment Group (MEG), owner’s of 50+ amusement parks in Europe seem to think so. Aviv Amiri, KeepMClose’s co-founder and CEO shared with TA that his startup will be starting field trials in Q1 of next year at Legoland Germany, one of MEG’s largest parks. Aviv tells us that the sales potential for KeepMClose from the child tracking solution at Legoland Germany alone is $1M USD per year. This is not another web service.

I met with Aviv and his co-founder Assaf several months ago in Herzelia when they were just starting up. They’re a solid founding team and two of the nicest guys you’ll meet. I’ve shared one concern with the guys. Requiring Hockey-Mom and Football-Dad to install software on their mobile phones at/for an amusement park, mall, beach etc. does not scale very well, even in Europe where they should enjoy a critical mass of compatible mobile phones. That said, keeping track of your kids is a must-have value proposition that parents will move mountains for. Those wristbands will sell no doubt. We’ll be keeping track (pun intended) of KeepMClose and report on their progress. The company is currently soliciting their first round of financing. Interested investors can reach out to Aviv via his TechAviv profile page.

Categories: Startups

6 Comments on “KeepMClose Emerges, Lands First Big Customer”

  1. December 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    I am not too sure if many people with regular cell phones would download software like this (as, like you stated above, most people are not that tech savvy as they have a life–just kidding). However, if they created software for smart phones (like BlackBerry's, Android powered phones, and an iPhone App) then distributing this would be a lot easier.While the smartphone market is a lot smaller, they may find more success there (as installing software is usually user friendly).

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  2. December 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    Good point. I know smart phones are quickly penetrating the mainstream market, especially in Europe, but they are far from ubiquitous. Perhaps the amusement parks could provide a simple LCD device for parents without compatible phones or willingness to install software.Aviv, have you guys consider these limitations and how to address them?

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    • December 15, 2008 at 3:09 am #

      Definitely an issue we looked into. Smart phones will allow for richer applications and easier implementation but will presently limit the market to high end users – not necessarily the typical amusement park visiting mom. Meanwhile we have two options: 1. Providing a simple LCD as mentioned by Yaron. 2. Approaching a park attendant with our universal adapter and receiving an immediate indication (on their device) about the location of the children associated to you. I must also add that a few years ago I could not believe that my mother will send an SMS and today I find it hard to keep up with the flow.

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      • December 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

        Hey Aviv,As far as smart phones limiting “the market to high end users – not necessarily the typical amusement park visiting mom” I would have to disagree.In the US, the iPhone is becoming wide spread despite its “high tech” because of its simplicity of use. In fact, its easier to use my iPhone than a regular phone due to it being very user friendly.With Android coming out, the price of smart phones is dropping (the cheapest I saw was $120) which could mean in a few years that smart phones may replace “dumb” phones (especially if they drop below $100).

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      • December 21, 2008 at 2:31 am #

        Point taken. Indeed our first version was developed on Symbian 9.2 and we can definitely give much richer features on smart phones along with the simplicity of distribution. At the moment our customer (Legoland Germany) is asking for the Java based solution. We deliver this, concentrate on fine tuning the work flow and start generating revenues. The rich application aspect will be a natural development of the solution and we intend to proceed with it together with the customers and based on end user feedback.

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  3. December 21, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Point taken. Indeed our first version was developed on Symbian 9.2 and we can definitely give much richer features on smart phones along with the simplicity of distribution. At the moment our customer (Legoland Germany) is asking for the Java based solution. We deliver this, concentrate on fine tuning the work flow and start generating revenues. The rich application aspect will be a natural development of the solution and we intend to proceed with it together with the customers and based on end user feedback.

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