A crowdsourcing safety app focusing on sexual assault prevention has discontinued services. It was started by two Cal Poly graduates.
Ulzi (OOL’-zee) was a free app that allowed users to track and be tracked by loved ones, share their location with local emergency services and assist nearby users in dangerous situations.
The app officially launched less than five months ago in February. On July 7, the company announced it was discontinuing services on its Facebook page. The company also sent an email to all Ulzi users July 8.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to raise funds, we have run out of capital and are unable to continue operating,” the email read. “Please uninstall the Ulzi app at your earliest convenience and use other methods of contacting law enforcement and your loved ones in an emergency.”
The company co-founders Maxwell Fong and Elan Timmons began Ulzi after learning 25 percent of women are sexually assaulted during college, according to an interview with The Tribune.
The app offered a “red alert” that contacted local police and sent an alert to the user’s friends, family members and nearby Ulzi users. The “red alert” also recorded audio and video on the user’s cell phone to collect evidence.
Ulzi’s “yellow alert” allowed users to send a message to select contacts if they felt uncomfortable or needed help leaving a situation.
The app was covered by major news outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post and Buzzfeed.