Access Earth aims to raise up to €300,000 for its accessibility tech

20 Oct 2021

Access Earth CEO Matthew McCann. Image: Access Earth

CEO Matthew McCann said Access Earth is aiming to help people with disabilities access public spaces ‘safely and with confidence’.

On a mission to create the world’s largest database of accessibility information, Irish tech start-up Access Earth has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise between €150,000 and €300,000.

According to UN figures, around 15pc of the world’s population, or 1bn people, are estimated to live with some form of disability. With a growing and ageing global population, this figure is increasing.

Founded in 2015, Access Earth has set out to create a global database for people with disabilities to access information that could help them travel, shop and socialise easier.

It does so by collecting and correlating data from its crowdsourcing mobile app, as well as through an AI-powered satellite imagery and accessibility asset mapping system. Its database currently includes information on more than 110,000 locations across the world.

“We all know how tough pandemic lockdowns were for everybody and how much we missed not being able to go to our favourite places,” said CEO Matthew McCann, who has cerebral palsy. “For millions of people with disabilities, access to everyday business and social activities is a lifelong challenge.”

Expansion plans

McCann, who co-founded Access Earth with COO Donal McClean, said that the company has partnerships across the world so that those with disabilities can access towns, community areas, parking, sports clubs and stadiums “safely and with confidence”.

It is now looking to raise funds on the Spark Crowdfunding platform to grow its team, secure more partnerships and expand its global accessibility database to reach more people.

According to its Spark Crowdfunding page, Access Earth is already generating revenues of €50,000 annually. The company has been recognised at the Microsoft Imagine Cup and the Enactus Ireland National Competition in the past for its accessibility tech.

Its mobile app is free for all users on iOS, Android or by visiting the start-up’s website. The platform also provides data analysis tools, platform integration and other enterprise-ready tools to government bodies and private businesses.

“The mission of the Access Earth team should resonate with many people. Spark has a broad spread of investors and investment amounts can be as small as just €100,” said Spark Crowdfunding CEO Chris Burge.

The Spark platform has helped Irish companies raise more than €6m from members of the public this year, with Paddy Power’s ASX sports trading exchange bagging €2.2m in less than a month. In 2020, a total of €2.5m was invested through the platform.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic