Interview with Mark Balaam, Founder at Personal Safety Platform: Imabi

Imabi is a personal safety and lifestyle intelligence platform – providing everyday safety and risk awareness for individuals and their loved ones.

Our mission is to help people navigate the ever-challenging modern world, feeling safe, secure and in control. We use personalised connected intelligence to keep people informed about what is happening around them, whatever they are doing, wherever they are.

For the first time ever, the platform brings family, health, home, tech and travel data together into one place to make it meaningful and all-encompassing to the individual. It learns about the user’s lifestyle, personal profile and planned activities, so it can deliver relevant and contextual notifications, alerts and guides around everything from major incidents and crime data, to weather, travel disruption, health and local cyber scams.

Think of Imabi as a guardian angel that seamlessly integrates data and information on your behalf. Helping you to keep on enjoying life without having to seek out and interpret multiple sources of information.

Our guiding principle is to keep you safe whilst keeping your personal data safe at all times. It’s your personal data so we will only ever use it for your benefit and safety.


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

I hit the magic 50 and was getting ready to retire, but my young family re-inspired me to make a difference to them and others. I have two daughters and, like any father, I’m protective of them. I’m always worrying about how I can keep them safe and positive. As they become more independent, I want to still be able to keep them safe and secure in their everyday lives, even when I’m not physically there.

My background is in national security and technology and I realised; I’m not finished yet. I strongly believe it should be easy for anyone to access the right information at the right time so they can act accordingly, in an informed, controlled and safe manner. So, I’ve taken what I’ve learned from my 30 years working in national security, police and intelligence agencies, and developed a sophisticated personal safety and lifestyle intelligence platform that’s available to everyone, every day.

It’s a guardian angel, personal assistant and MI5 in your pocket.

This is a very personal project to me as Imabi is named after my two daughters: Imogen and Abigail. I’m incredibly proud to play my part in democratising personal safety and risk awareness, and to be contributing towards a safer, more secure society for my family and others.

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as an entrepreneur. I’m just doing my bit to fix an ever-increasing problem that needs fixing. For me, it’s all about making a positive change to people’s lives. Not forcing an idea or thinking about the next big business opportunity for financial gains, it’s about making a difference.

If I had to share some advice, it would be to build a team of passionate people who believe wholeheartedly in your vision. At Imabi, everyone brings a different experience and skillset to the table – from the digitisation of the UK police forces to advanced personalised intelligence capabilities – but we all have the same end goal in mind. To help people stay safe and in control.

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

We’ve seen a massive shift over the past year with employers being increasingly responsible for worker safety and wellbeing. Employees have had to deal with a level of change and uncertainty they have never experienced before and that has taken its toll. Good employers want to swoop in and fix things – but they don’t always have the resources and tools to address everyone’s personal circumstances.

So, we’ve started working closely with some major organisations to arm employees with the skills and tools they need to live safer, more informed and more confident lives. This will help more people to be empowered and prepared – whatever the situation, either at home or whenever they leave their home – so they can live and work with more confidence, passion, control and most importantly, positivity.