US analytics firm Rhodes Edge acquires Singapore startup Folr
By Digital News Asia August 28, 2015
- Rhodes Edge will add Folr’s geolocation tracking technology to its products
- Folr’s pivot to enterprise space pays off, CEO Konowe joins US company’s board
US-based data analytics and security firm Rhodes Edge Inc has acquired Singapore-based geolocation technology startup Folr for an undisclosed sum.
With the full buyout, Folr chief executive officer (CEO) Josh Konowe will join the board at Rhodes Edge, Folr said in a statement.
It said Rhodes Edge will add the Singapore company’s geolocation tracking technology into its current product offerings of ROSES and RECheck, providing “a powerful cost-effective smartphone and web solution that accurately tracks the geographical movements of assets (people, vehicles, items).”
“The acquisition of Folr and the unique capabilities it brings to the Rhodes Edge product suite is exciting for the company and will significantly enhance our capabilities,” said Rhodes Edge president Dawn Young.
“The solution has application to a wide variety of clients in both the public and private sectors for asset management and location awareness,” she added.
Folr was founded in 2014, originally as a personal safety app that gives real-time information on the whereabouts of family members, significant others, best friends and more.
Konowe came on board in February to take over the CEO role from Folr founder Steven Ellis.
In March this year, the company expanded into the enterprise geolocation tracking space with Folr Business when it saw a bigger opportunity in this space, a spokesman told Digital News Asia (DNA).
The original family tracking app Folr Family is still active and has about 30,000 monthly active users, he told DNA via email.
“It feels good to have a moment like this without having to raise a huge amount of financing,” Konowe said.
“Clearly our pilots, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners and clients see the value for managing their mobile staff in a better and more effective manner.
“In short, we proved enough to show the core value … with some real-world enterprise usage,” he added.
The Folr mobile application, installed on an iOS or Android device, updates a business administrator on the location of assets using a combination of WiFi, GPS (global positioning system), and cell tower triangulation.
Privacy parameters ensure staff is only tracked during specified work hours, the company said.
Folr is a portfolio company of venture builder Sugar Ventures, which has been onboard from the ideation stage, through growth phase, and now at the exit.
“We are happy to announce a trade sale of Folr to Rhodes Edge,” said Sugar Ventures cofounder John Fearon.
“This is a validation of our business model and the hard work put in by the team,” he added.
Meanwhile, Konowe (pic) said the “exit represents incredible value on both sides for the buyer and seller.”
“I credit our investors first who took the biggest risk; the team which worked tirelessly to get it right; my right hand Natalie Ip who was integral to the success; and the rest of the development team at Sugar.
“These moments don’t happen without everyone involved, in the boat and rowing their proverbial and actual tails off in unison,” he added.
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