The Inspire Insurtech Interview’ series are interviews to inspire your fellow insurtechs. We’d like to share who you are, what you do, what we can expect from you in the future. This month we are talking we talk to Veronica Hey from Ok Away. Enjoy!
Tell us Ok Away’s brief pitch
Ok Away allows family and friends to connect while travelling via mapped location sharing, itinerary updates, information sharing and travel alerts. The data that Ok Away collects provides a rich picture of travel-related behaviours and risks.
So how did Ok Away begin?
After studying Tourism and traveling extensively, I saw increasing incidents impacting travellers overseas and I thought ‘there must be a better way?’.
For nearly eight years, I have been looking into ways that technology could connect the travel community, communicate safety issues and even search for missing travellers.
That was the start of the Missing Pages initiative, amongst the first global initiatives to assist the families of missing travelers with the painful and confusing process of locating loved ones.
Now comes Ok Away.
How has Ok Away evolved since inception?
When I started developing the idea, GPS and geo-mapping technology was in its infancy. Now we can put the power in the hands of travellers through their smartphones. We’ve also extensively researched our audiences. We know what travelers want and we have been ruthless in cutting out anything that does not add value.
With the development of mapping technology, we now have the means to know where our friends and family are, view their travel history and plans, what is going on in their vicinity and be notified if they fail to arrive at a destination.
What is your team currently working on? Any accomplishments you’d like to tell us about?
We are in launch mode, so we’re flat out with continued testing and slowly introducing Ok Away to the market, however we are really proud of a few firsts.
Our Itinerary feature allows travellers to post their itinerary for a day trip or long trip abroad. Family and friends will be instantly notified when a new itinerary is created and they can view the upcoming trip, travel insurance information and other details. Followers will receive alerts when the traveller arrives and departs each location or if they are late to arrive.
Given the current situation with Covid-19 and the decision of the Australian Government to discontinue the ‘Smart traveler’ App, we also decided to link to official Australian Smart Traveller warnings. We are also looking to link to the U.K Government Travel warnings. We can add other Countries as we see demand.
How does Ok Away give back?
During the last 8 years we’ve conducted over 30 online location targeted ad campaigns for missing travellers at no cost to families via our Missing Pages initiative. We follow up on any credible leads provided and pass this information onto relevant authorities as well as encouraging missing person poster distribution with locals.
Families can now post missing loved ones through the Community section of the App and members nearby will receive a notification.
What is Ok Away’s biggest challenge in today’s markets?
The global response to COVID-19, has hit travel hard.
We believe when the global community returns cautiously to travel we can offer a little peace of mind and play our role in creating a safer and better connected world.
Now more than ever travellers are acutely aware of the importance of travel insurance and being across what is included in their policy.
Anything else that you would like to say that we haven’t asked?
The Ok Away app is available free on both iOS and Android. Ok Away also sells a collection of travel safety products, with a percent of proceeds going towards supporting our Missing Pages Initiative and the Ok Away app.