After massive quakes, millions in Mexico turn to early warning app

Source(s): Thomson Reuters

By Sheky Espejo

MEXICO CITY - Since two massive earthquakes hit Mexico in September, claiming more than 460 lives, an early warning start-up called SkyAlert has doubled its users to 5.8 million, making it one of the country’s most downloaded apps.

SkyAlert has also found a market selling alarms to small businesses in the capital, said its co-founder and director Alvaro Velasco. And it is looking to expand to Latin America, mainly Colombia, Peru and Chile, which lack an official alerting system despite frequent quakes in those countries.

Velasco said that he and SkyAlert co-founder Alejandro Cantú are talking to investors from Mexico and elsewhere about raising 100 million pesos ($5.35 million) in capitalization in 2018.

He said the surge in users after the most recent deadly quake in Mexico City had heightened the interest of existing investors including U.S.-based American Messaging and attracted interest from two Mexico-based private equity funds.

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