Uber invests in Birmingham app development firm
The alternative taxi firm Uber has invested in a Birmingham tech company to further develop an app to help people with everyday memory problems.
Memrica aims to collate data, image and sound files to ensure everything needed for a task, event or appointment is available in one place.
The Memrica team won a business pitching competition run earlier this year, leading to Uber investing an undisclosed sum to help Memrica grow.
Memrica founder Mary Matthews (shown in the image above with other winners)
travelled to Berlin earlier this summer with three other European winners from UberPITCH to meet Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick.
She said: “Meeting Travis was a fantastic experience and he was incredibly generous with his time, talking through our business challenges and giving advice based on his experience.
“That was so valuable in its own right – and now to have Uber as an investor and the endorsement of one of the world’s smartest entrepreneurs is incredible.”
More than 4,000 pitches were submitted from entrepreneurs in 37 cities across 21 countries, with a shortlist of four invited to Berlin to spend more time with venture capitalists and participate in conferences and “incubator mashups.” Kalanick himself was in attendance, and it seems he was so impressed with the quartet that he elected to make a direct investment in all four companies through Uber.
Memrica’s service is called ‘Prompt’ and it aims to emulates the way memory works by collating personal context and shared history about people, places and events.
The information is linked to reminders and users create notes about things they want to remember while the system adds images, contact details, personal context maps and directions.
Families and carers can help manage the system using a web dashboard and analytics track users’ behaviour and can send alerts if changes are noticed.
The service was developed by working with people living with dementia, their families, clinical staff and charity the Alzheimer’s Society.
David Hardman, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham where Memrica is based, added: “As the most investable city in the UK and the leading tech location outside London, I am thrilled that an internationally successful business such as Uber is recognising Birmingham’s impressive talent pool of entrepreneurs.
“This is a brilliant result for Memrica, following an already impressive year for the company and we look forward to supporting the team as they continue to expand into the global marketplace.”