THE founders of a new motorcycling app developed in the North East are on track for success after signing a deal worth £25,000 with Honda’s Newcastle-based dealership.
The new REALRIDER® technology works by downloading an app to a smartphone and is supported by a website devised by entrepreneurs Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson at a cost of £285,000, £40,000 of which was personal savings.
The app, which could potentially be rolled out to 50,000 bikers across the North East, will be handed out free of charge with every new Honda bike sold by Newcastle Motorcycles.
Former flatbread firm Pride Valley Foods entrepreneur Hossain Rezaei is now chairman of the business.
He said: “REALRIDER® is an extremely exciting business concept with genuinely unique features and innovation with significant commercial potential. The management team demonstrated their considerable expertise in this area and their passion for the market. Their determination was something that encouraged me to back them and their drive to make the business successful is what prompted me to become chairman. I think the business has huge potential and it’s exciting to be supporting significant technology developments here in the North East.”
The app automatically detects if a rider has been involved in a crash, and sends an alert to the rider’s phone, which if it isn’t cancelled, contacts the ambulance service with the GPS location and medical details of the rider. Powered by REALsafe®, the app, which is being piloted across the UK by the North East Ambulance Service, is the first of its kind to help reduce the number of motorcycling fatalities.
Craig Smith, dealer principal at Newcastle Motorcycles, said: “The system is now reaching a level of maturity where we really feel we can get behind it. We’ve recently opened our own training school and it’s clear one of the biggest obstacles new riders often have is getting it past their loved ones that they are getting on a motorbike. Many new riders ride alone to build up confidence before heading out with others, so for these riders especially the REALsafe® feature gives real security.”
The app also records routes and synchronises with realrider.com where subscribers can view, edit and share their favourite rides.
Newcastle Science City has provided business support to help the company through its early stages, with Rivers Capital helping finance the app and website.