The West of England Combined Authority announced that Found, a Bristol-based tech start-up, will launch the UK’s first community-focused lost property app.
The new mobile app and website platform are set to be launched during the weekend with a city-wide treasure hunt.
The Found lost property app is said to enable users to record lost property, while people or businesses who find lost items can also make use of the app to register them.
By using artificial intelligence technology, items that are lost and found are matched, while connecting the finders and losers of the property to facilitate their safe return.
Found CEO and founder Lance Plunkett said: “Over 50 million items are lost a year in the UK, with a value of over £1 billion. Join this to the fact that Police forces are no longer taking lost property at their stations, then you can see that there is a real need for a new innovative solution to this problem.
“As the coverage of the Found partner network increases, so does the chance of finding the lost valuables which are registered on the app. If your item is discovered, we’ll connect you with the person or organisation that found it, so that you can arrange to be reunited with your item.”
The West of England Combined Authority, through its inward investment arm Invest Bristol & Bath, is said to have supported Found in setting up its business in the region.
The lost property app developer will also be partnering with local charities, including Bristol-based Caring, to prevent the unclaimed lost property from going to landfill.
According to West of England Combined Authority, Found has already drawn the interest of Stephen Lansdown, the founder of Bristol Sport, who is a key investor in the app developer. The company has made Bristol the first city in the country to have access to the lost property app, ahead of next year’s nationwide launch.
West of England Combined Authority chief executive Patricia Greer said: “This is a great example of the hugely innovative and beneficial technology that the West of England is famous for creating.
“We’re proud to support investment into our region by providing business intelligence, through our Invest Bristol & Bath team. The West of England Combined Authority will continue to work closely with Found to support its growth and ambitions in the region.”