“Don’t let anything stand in the way of freedom” If you have ever been arrested by the police for a traffic offense then you will agree with me that finding someone to bail you out can be challenging, if not impossible. That’s the moment when you realize the value of freedom. But one man is on a mission to change all that. He makes sure your freedom is assured within the minimum time possible.
Meet 32 years old Alex Mutitu, founder of BailoutBuddy, a mobile application service that literally bails out persons from custody upon arrest for traffic offenses.
The mobile app which is available on Google play store offers among other services direct helplines to lawyers, cabs, ambulances, fire fighters, doctors and police contacts to applicants in case of emergencies.
According to Alex, the mobile app is set to bridge the gap between the time of arrest and the time one is released on a cash bail.
“Last year I got arrested along Nairobi-Nakuru highway and I ended up spending more than seven hours in custody. I couldn’t immediately raise the required Kshs. 25,000 cash bail and I had to make frantic calls to family and friends for help. Eventually a family member came through and sent the cash via Mpesa and I got released,” observes the Actuarial science student from Digital Advisory Learning Center (DALC).
The incident inspired Alex to come up with a way of bailing out arrested persons without necessarily bugging friends and family or spending more time in a police cell; simply because they can’t raise the required cash bail.
This saw him team up with two of his friends from Kenyatta University and the trio formed Napex Innovation Services under which BailoutBuddy app was born.
When you download the app, all you need to do is install it, fill in the required personal details and automatically become a member.
The app offers an annual premium plan in which the least premiums one can pay is Kshs 6,000 which covers up to Kshs 30,000 per year.
Once the payments are made, the member receives an SMS containing his/her verification code of which they can proceed to activate or extend their membership by confirming the code.
Currently, Alex has employed 8 riders who offer BailoutBuddy services in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, and its suburbs of Kiambu and Nakuru counties. He is hopeful that by the end of October this year, the services will be available country wide as plans are underway to roll out a USSD code for those without smart phones.
So far the app which is barely six months old has had over 200 downloads and over 70 applicants who are already using the app’s services.
Alex, envisions having his own Insurance Company in the next three years, He expects the number of clients to rise in the coming days since the innovation is one of its kind in Kenya and Africa, which is his main target market.