Be My Eyes
A heartwarming 6 million volunteers assisting blind/low-vision users
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🙏 Good bits
55 Women-Owned Businesses That Give Back & Do Good — Kamrin Baker
The surprising climate benefits of sharing your stuff — Tessa Clarke, Olio co-founder
Buildings waste a lot of energy. One low-tech solution could fix that — Neel Dhanesha
🌰 Good business in a nutshell
Company • Be My Eyes
Areas of Impact • Accessibility, Visual Impairment
Saving the world • 467,802 blind and low-vision users
How they started • Hans Jørgen Wiberg’s friends were Facetiming their friends asking for help on short, daily tasks
What they do • Connect volunteers and companies offering real-time sight assistance with visually impaired people
How they make money • B2B programs
Revenue • Not disclosed
Who started everything • Christian Erfurt, Hans Jørgen Wiberg
“Sometimes there is information that you want to have for some time before you share it with other people,” — Wiberg, about a woman using Be My Eyes to read the results of a pregnancy test ❤️
📖 The long version
Everyday activities are extremely difficult for visually-impaired people
There are an endless number of problems that I could list here
💡 How they started | How they are going
‘Facetiming’ a friend, asking for help on short simple tasks like: “what’s the expiring date of this butter?“ or “can you tell me which of these three cans is the coconut milk one?“ That’s how Hans Jørgen Wiberg’s friends were sorting out their everyday tasks.
During a Startup Weekend event, in 2012 Wiberg presented the idea of an app to match volunteers with blind, low-vision people needing help.
In 2015 the app was officially launched.
Within the first 24 hours, Be My Eyes had 1000 blind or visually impaired users and 10,000 volunteers signed up. Eight weeks later, they had registered users in 100 countries.
5️⃣ Explain like I’m 5
You are looking for your teddy bear in the darkness of your bedroom. You can’t see where she is. You pick up the mobile and call a superhero, with a super powerful vision that finds her for you, using your mobile camera.
🌎 Saving the world
Over 6.3 million volunteers
Over 467,000 blind and low-vision users
☄️ Impact Model
A blind/low-vision person needs help to find out which can have green olives.
They ask for help on Be My Eyes
A team of superheroes volunteers receive the request on their mobile
A superhero picks up the call and finds the green olives, using the person’s mobile camera
💰 Let’s talk money
$12.4 million funding to date
Be My Eyes is free for users. They make money mainly from five B2B revenue streams: Corporate Volunteering, Specialized Help, Be My Eyes for Work, Be My Eyes Careers and Be My Eyes Experiences.
“But part of the reason for keeping it free is that 90% of the blind people in this world live in India and Africa and China and other places,” — Hans Jørgen Wiberg
📦 The product
From the users’ perspective, Be My Eyes provide visual assistance for people in need. Open the app, ask for help and in less than 20 seconds, someone from the fantastic team of over 6 million volunteers will accept the request to be kind and do good.
In 2018 Microsoft joined as the first company to use Specialized Help. Since then, a few more B2B products were created:
Corporate Volunteering • businesses can contribute and offer assistance to Be My Eyes community at a specific time. For example, company ABC will do a “volunteering day” tomorrow.
a) They simply select the number of employees who will participate.
b) Employees join Be My Eyes as volunteers, using their business email.
c) At the scheduled time, calls will pop up
Specialized Help • Customer service platform for blind and low-vision customers. Partner companies set up profiles on the platform. Companies’ blind and low-vision customers request assistance on the app and their customer service team answers the call.
Be My Eyes for Work • The same methodology of Be My Eyes but as an internal platform for the company. Blind employees are connected with sighted colleagues.
😍 Moments that are worth all the efforts
💪 Join the cause
🎬 Who started everything
Hans Jørgen Wiberg
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