A Chat with Chris Miller, Co-Founder at Walking Safety App: Follo

Follo is a lifestyle and technology brand focused on personal safety. In October 2021, we launched the world’s first fully automated walking safety app – a revolutionary new digital tool, created to empower people to feel safer, more confident and independent when making journeys by foot.

The app is completely free to use, works worldwide and, when activated for a walk, monitors the user’s device with four innovative Safety Triggers until they safely reach their destination. If something unusual happens while the app is activated, Follo will send a timed and security-enabled notification to the user’s phone checking in on them first.

If unresponsive, the app automatically alerts the user’s pre-selected Key Contacts via SMS. The message contains the user’s last recorded location, the reason for the alert and a link to recommended guidance on how to respond.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

My co-founder and life-long friend Charlie and I first came up with the idea for Follo in early 2021. We are both adventurous city dwellers who love to explore new places, and like so many others out there, we’ve always looked to live an active and balanced lifestyle.

Leading into spring last year, a number of tragic stories made news headlines around the world, of individuals being attacked or going missing, which really brought the subject of walking safety into harsh focus for us. Through conversations with peers and our own research, we found out about the lengths people were going to in order to feel safer when out on foot, or how they would avoid walking altogether through feelings of vulnerability.

It got us thinking about developing a smart personal safety tool that could serve what was clearly a huge proportion of society here in the UK and around the world. We found the apps and device SOS features that were available in the market to be ineffective in a number of ways. We found the options to be clunky and overly complex, often requiring the user to give up their privacy and independence in exchange for a modest level of security, and the most fundamental problem was that they all relied on their user to physically interact with their device in an unsafe moment.

So, we immediately set upon developing a private, reliable and easy-to-use tool; one that would work automatically when it’s user needed it to, without the requirement for them to interact with it – and so the concept of Follo was born!


How has the company evolved in the last year since you conceived the idea?

We started development on Follo in May 2021, tested it rigorously over the summer and launched in October 2021.

Our strategy since launch has been organically growing our community of users through word of mouth and building brand awareness. The projected growth of the personal safety and security device market is forecast to reach $5.5bn by the end of 2025 and we see a huge opportunity, as the world’s first fully-automated walking safety app, to become the most trusted and widely-used product on the market.

Since being released to app stores, we have continued to use valuable real world feedback to inform the development of new features and bring in a wider array of users. “Just Walk” is the first of these, designed to monitor meandering dog walks and free strolls without a specific route or destination. On top of this, we have been listening to feedback from our community of early-adopters to make a host of smaller improvements to ensure we are offering the best user experience possible.

What can we hope to see from Follo in the future?

Having only recently launched, 2022 is looking to be an incredibly exciting year already. Along with the joy of raising finance to consolidate our growth and developing features of the app, our focus remains on building awareness, recruiting new users and entering the public and private sectors.

We are building our B2B presence by offering Follo as a digital welfare tool to employers to include as part of their Duty of Care policies, and we’ve already confirmed MATCHESFASHION as a partner who have shared the app with their staff around the world. As more employers and institutions look to bring their people back to a physical place of work, interaction or education, it is our ambition to help those whose welfare they are responsible for, to lead happier, healthier and safer lives.

Additionally, we’re currently raising funds that will allow us to invest more in research and development in order to expand our digital safety offering to cover other outdoor activities and sports, on top of the walking safety functionality we already provide.