Be My Eyes has secured a $2.8 million Series A investment for its app which makes the world more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. The round was led by Cultivation Capital and also welcomed new board members Paul Weber and Michael Buckley, an angel investor and former VP of global communications at Facebook.
The ‘micro-volunteering’ app calls up people on demand to describe what’s in front of a blind user’s camera. It was initially supported entirely by volunteers but recently announced it would begin partnering with companies to provide expert-level support. Microsoft signed on as Be My Eyes’ first video support partner in 2018, followed by Google, Lloyds Banking Group, and Procter & Gamble.
“As we grow and age, we all need help seeing at some point,” says Be My Eyes CEO Christian Erfurt, who co-founded the company with a legally blind craftsman named Hans Jørgen Wiberg in 2014.
“It’s been a pleasure to see that not only do people want to give their time to support this large population – but companies want to make their customer service offerings more accessible. For them, we’ve built a simple but beautiful tool.”
Neil Barnett, director of inclusive hiring and accessibility at Microsoft, added:
“Be My Eyes is a great example of how technology can help bring communities together and empower people who are blind or with low vision.”
Be My Eyes has previously been backed by angels and investment funding from the likes of Singularity University, the founders of Zendesk and the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco.
The funding allows the startup to further develop its “purpose and profit” business model while keeping the visual support service free and unlimited for all visually impaired users.