In 2017, when a destructive earthquake struck Puebla, Mexico, sending shock waves to Mexico City and destroying buildings in the nation’s megalopolis and its surrounding suburbs, both public and private emergency services sprung into action.
For multinational corporations operating in the city it was a test of their internal support services, which were established to meet the “duty of care” requirements that multinationals have to their foreign employees. That’s a minimum threshold which companies must meet to ensure the safety of their employees.
After the Mexico City earthquake, at least one Fortune 500 insurance company found its services lacking. It took two weeks for the company to contact all of its employees and account for everyone.
So the company turned to a new Washington-based startup called Base Operations to see if they could do a better job.
Founded by a former security and risk management consultant, Cory Siskind, Base Operations uses a suite of hosted software services and mobile applications to provide security updates to corporate customers and their employees.
The insurance company tested Base Operations’ check-in feature to see how it would perform in a simulated natural disaster and Siskind said that Base Operations had identified the location of 80% of the company’s workforce in less than two days. More than half of the company’s employees checked in within the first 24 hours.
Base Operations offers a dashboard for corporate customers to monitor their employees’ locations and for staff traveling abroad, the company has an app that provides geo-tagged alerts on potential risks based on an individual’s location.
“This is a compliance situation for companies… They have to do it,” says Siskind. “We work with a company’s chief security officers and travel security. If you send people off into an emerging market with a risk PDF… It’s not dynamic information and it just sits in a report and nobody reads it.”
Companies with a sales or marketing team traveling around need to have some sort of tool to meet their compliance regulations and duty of care standards, says Siskind.
“We have a whole set of features that nudge towards safer behaviors so that you don’t end up getting mugged and so that you don’t end up in a situation that would be damaging to you,” she says.
Siskind recently raised $1 million for Base Operations from investors including Glasswing Ventures, Spiro Ventures, the Latin American early-stage investment firm Magma Partners and Good Growth Capital. Base Operations graduated from Techstars Impact Accelerator in 2018.
The money from the company’s most recent round will be used to expand the company’s sales and marketing efforts and continue its research and development.
So far, the company has three customers, including the undisclosed insurance provider, the energy company Enel and another, yet unnamed, corporation.
Base Operations provides its services in 15 cities, including: Mexico City, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and San Jose (Costa Rica).