PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The safety app bSafe, already used by over 200,000 Norwegian women, has now captured interest in Hollywood, with Jada Pinkett Smith investing in Bipper to take bSafe to the international market.
"bSafe is a wonderful app that everyone should have," says Jada Pinkett Smith.
Daughter Willow discovered bSafe
Jada, who has been actively advocating for the rights of human trafficking victims and researching anti-trafficking tools, discovered the app after daughter Willow began using it fall of 2012. She quickly realized the impact this app could have through not only keeping young people safe, but all people.
"bSafe is a safety service that can easily be used by anyone," says Jada. "Users can ask for help, provide important information about their location and preserve evidence through video recordings with one click on their mobile phone. Everyone needs a service like this."
Smith called Bipper
During fall 2012, Bipper founder Silje Vallestad received a call from Hollywood. Some months earlier, Silje had moved to the U.S. with her family to establish the company there. Vallestad recalls that the phone call came unexpectedly, "To be called up by one of the most famous families in the world telling you that they are using one of your products and want to work with you, is unreal, absolutely amazing!"
A few weeks later Vallestad found herself in the Smith family residence at a lunch event with First Lady, Michelle Obama. Soon after, Smith and Vallestad began planning the launch of Bipper's safety products, bSafe and MobileKids, in the U.S. market. Now Jada Pinkett Smith has invested in Bipper.
"We are joined by amazing people," Vallestad says. "People with a real passion for both our products and the potential of the company. That they found us because they were looking for a product like bSafe, and that they are superusers themselves makes this even more exciting. It's a dream situation for an entrepreneur," says Vallestad.
Pinkett Smith adds, "Bipper is my first technology investment, and I chose it because I saw the potential to solve real problems for kids, parents, and anyone looking to increase their overall safety. I have great confidence in Silje and her team and look forward to working closely with them to increase the reach and impact of an already fantastic security tool."
Bipper was founded in 2007 by Silje Vallestad, a mother of three, after her six-year-old daughter's friends began using cell phones and she was unable to find custom mobile solutions that covered her needs as a parent concerned about her children's safety. Bipper developed and launched MobileKids in Norway and Bulgaria in partnership with two operators in the fall of 2010 and brought the mobile application for smartphones to the international market in 2013. The company launched bSafe in 2011 prompted by requests from mothers who wanted access to the same SOS feature available on their children's MobileKids app. Headquartered in Norway with offices in Silicon Valley and Kiev, Bipper has received awards that include Red Herring Global, Rookie of the Year, Bully Award, Mobile Premier Award and SIMagine. In 2011, founder Silje Vallestad was named Norway's Entrepreneur of the Year.