The year 2015 witnessed 3,27,394 crimes against women as per the National Crime Records Bureau, including 34,651 cases of rape. The number of crimes against children was 94,172 which included crimes such as kidnapping, rape and sexual harassment amongst others.
With an aim to ensure that chidren feel safer and can seek help easily, Delhi-based Leaf Wearables, run by Leaf Innovation, the start-up behind connected jewellery for women, is now foraying into children’s wearables. It will soon launch a safety watch for kids with GPS and GSM capabilities under its Leaf Wearables brand.
“The watch will allow children to make calls to designated guardians without needing to pair it with a mobile phone. The watch has an SOS button which sends the child’s location to the guardians and makes a call automatically as well,” said Paras Batra, co-founder, Leaf Wearables.
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Guardians can download the ‘SAFER by Leaf’ app on their phone through which they can track the child’s location and call the child’s watch.
The safety watch is expected to be priced around R5000. “We will start pre-booking soon and the product will be launched by early 2017,” added Batra. Leaf Wearables was founded by five friends—Avinash Bansal, Ayush
Banka, Chiraag Kapil, Manik Mehta and Batra. Batra, who had earlier lived in Munirka, the site of the December 16 gang rape incident of 2012, first came up with the idea of a start-up in this field. He discussed his safety concerns with his friends, and the five young men decided to develop a technology for women’s safety.
The founders wanted to design a product that could help women at a tap unlike existing ones such as mobiles, apps or pepper spray. The five resorted to smart jewellery as most women wear it, and formally launched Leaf Wearables in December 2015.
Leaf Wearables’ first product ‘Safer’ is a piece of jewellery which can be worn as a pendant. The jewellery has an in-built button, which works on Bluetooth low energy and thus works in coordination with the Safer app on the user’s smartphone. In an emergency situation, the user simply double-clicks the pendant, which sends an alert to the victim’s pre-designated network. Priced at R2499, the jewellery takes just 15 minutes to charge for a week of use.
Since its launch, Leaf Wearables has sold over 8000 units, and has an online presence across the globe,
including in the US and the UK. It also has distributors in Turkey and the product is available in 70 retail stores. Most recently, it bagged a deal from distributors in SouthEast Asia (SEA) to have a retail presence in the region. While the start-up plans to strengthen its international presence via distributors, Batra said that India will remain the focus for Leaf Wearables.
“We generate about 80% of our revenues from India as of now,” said Batra. The company is expecting 100% growth in online orders by the end of December 2016.
Leaf Wearables has won multiple awards across the globe even before its products hit the market, including the Ericsson innovation award in 2015. It was one of the top 10 innovative startups in India named by the department of science and technology in 2015 and its founding team accompanied Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on his visit to Silicon Valley to participate in the first India-US Startup Konnect the same year. In December 2015, it raised $250,000 in seed funding from Mumbai Angels and others. The start-up is now in the process of raising Series A funding of $ 2.5-3 million.