Pepper spray

The Defender – Smart Personal Defence, Identification & Response – Cool #Startups


The Pitch


Startup Name Pangaea Services, Inc
What problem are you solving? We are solving a self-defense and security problem by combining identification, alert, and defense in one device.
What is your solution? The Defender is a smart personal protection device that combines a camera, flash, siren, and pepper spray. The Defender connects to an iOS or Android device and with one push of a button, we capture the photo of an attacker, spray them with pepper spray, attract attention with the small but mighty siren and flash, all while our 24/7 monitoring service is notified with the picture and your GPS location so safety help can be dispatched to your exact location.
Why is this a great opportunity? This is a great opportunity because college students face safety threats on campus, violent crimes occur ever 22 seconds in this country, and we go everywhere with our phones. These features have never before been combined into one device.
Target Market We are targeting 100 million women that carry smart phones every day, including college students!We have over 1000 email signups for our pre-order and we will be launching our crowdfunding campaign on July 22nd.
How will you make money? We plan to give away the hardware and we will make money through the $15/month monitoring service.
Founders Names Ryan McManus, Steven Allen
What type of funding has the company received Bootstrapped/self funded


Startup88 Verdict

I think its a great idea, I think its a real problem and a good solution to the problem.

I like the services revenue model, although I think it is probably a little pricy per month for your average student it will find a home in the wealthier campuses and neighbourhoods.

Using a piece of hardware to lock in annuity revenue is a great business model, assuming its useful and customers believe its really is protecting them, is probably pretty immune to customer churn due to the uniqueness of the hardware.

The Bill of Materials and build cost on something like this would probably run $40-60 depending on how much work is being offloaded to the Mobile App so payback would be in the vicinity of 6 months, assuming they can convince the user to sign on for a longer term agreement, they will have a nice annuity revenue stream.

I do have some concerns, perhaps there is no solution for some of them, perhaps their solution is better than no solution.

  • Its a concern that they are relying on the mobile phone app to do the transmitting, what happens if the battery is flat, probably would be better if the Defender had its own GPS and data chip in it, I understand this would be an additional cost but more failsafe
  • What happens if this doesn’t work, hate to think the additional risk the woman would be in if the pepper spray didn’t stop them
  • I would be concerned that the local police and ambulance might not be too keen about having a 3rd party involved.
  • What happens if they don’t respond?
  • There may be some jurisdictions where the pepper spray is illegal
  • Running a 24×7 Operations Centre is hard, everyone in emergency lines around the world has trouble keeping service levels and you must when you are providing this sort of service, so I think there is some operational risk there.
  • Would have been nice to see some prototype devices that prove its ready to build, it isnt clear how far along they are in the build process.

The Defender is launching a Crowdfunding campaign shortly, however no details were available at time of publication.