Facedrive Inc. (“Facedrive”) (TSXV: FD) (OTCQX:FDVRF), a Canadian “people-and-planet-first” technology ecosystem, is delighted to announce the launch of HiPanda, a platform developed by Facedrive’s wholly-owned subsidiary HiRide Share Ltd. (“HiRide”)—a socially-responsible peer-to-peer platform offering innovative transportation and communication solutions—and the University of Waterloo’s Engineering Wellness Program to raise awareness of mental health issues faced by the younger demographic during the pandemic and help bridge the gap between individuals and wellness coordinators’ hectic schedules. The collaboration marks a new phase in the long-standing relationship between Facedrive and the University of Waterloo, who jointly developed the contact-tracing solution TraceSCAN last year.
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HiPanda is a platform that allows users to voice mental health concerns, book virtual appointments with wellness coordinators, and access mental health resources—all within the convenience of a single web application. The impetus for HiPanda was the dire need for wellness support during COVID-19, where closures and related isolations have had a devastating impact on mental health, including on younger demographics in unique ways. The solution’s developers seek to emphasize the importance of wellness and timely assistance to young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. While workplace mental health was brought to the forefront of public attention by the pandemic, students have been largely absent from this discussion, and HiPanda looks to address this very issue.
The current system for connecting individuals with mental health coordinators lacks organization and efficiency, especially within university networks. Students often have to wait in long lines in order to get assistance, and coordinators are bombarded with emails that are difficult to respond to on time. The HiPanda platform significantly streamlines communication between students and advisors and strives to improve students’ experiences getting access to the resources they need. This all-rounded platform allows users to view data of all wellness coordinators within the same space. Moreover, wellness concerns can often be a sensitive matter for many individuals, which is why confidentiality matters were given priority in the development of HiPanda.
Development of the HiPanda application is closely aligned with the expansion of Facedrive’s Health division and the enhancement of its TraceSCAN technology, a contact tracing and exposure notification solution aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating the adverse effects of the pandemic. It is anticipated that HiPanda will be integrated within the TraceSCAN solution in the near future, whereby TraceSCAN’s subscribers including numerous educational institutions, First Nations communities, government, and enterprise customers will get preferred access to the wellness platform and benefit from both solutions as a complete one-stop package to combat the virus, monitor safety and wellness of users and return to normal as soon as possible.
“This first-of-its-kind solution was born out of Facedrive’s overarching ESG vision. During these tough times we hope this platform can be a solution for students, workforce members, First Nations communities and others across North America. We are committed to constantly enhancing user experience and adding more services and functionalities to the HiPanda platform. Furthermore, integration of HiPanda into our high-demand TraceSCAN solution will be key to reaching and helping as many people as we can,” said Sayan Navaratnam, CEO and Chairman of Facedrive.
“We are excited to launch this platform with the help of the University of Waterloo. Today more than ever before, wellness is something that needs to be a high priority for everyone. We hope that the HiPanda solution is a stepping stone for improving communication between students and wellness coordinators, as well as in other settings where mental health services are being administered.” said Akshat Soni, CEO of HiRide.
“The University of Waterloo, Faculty of Engineering, Engineering Wellness (ENGWellness) Team is thrilled to have partnered with HiRide on this fantastic solution. Given the necessity for more virtual means of connection these days, the HiPanda platform will enable us to provide relevant and important mental health and wellness information to students in a familiar, convenient, and user-friendly manner. Extended thanks to the HiPanda team for working with us as we look to advance the resources and support offered to our student community!” said Student Wellness Coordinator, Sam Vandekerckhove.
Facedrive is a multi-faceted “people-and-planet first” tech ecosystem offering socially-responsible services to local communities with a strong commitment to doing business fairly, equitably and sustainably. As part of this commitment, Facedrive’s vision is to fulfil its mandate through a number of verticals that either leverage existing technologies of the Company or project synergies with existing lines of business (the “Facedrive Verticals”). The Facedrive Verticals include its rideshare business (“Facedrive Rideshare”), sustainable e-commerce platform (“Facedrive Marketplace”), food-delivery service (“Facedrive Foods”), e-social platform (“Facedrive Social”) and its contact-tracing and sustainable health services business (“Facedrive Health”).
Facedrive Rideshare was among the first to offer a wide variety of environmentally and socially responsible solutions in the Transportation as a Service (TaaS) space, planting thousands of trees based on user consumption and offering choices between electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles (including, more recently, electric and hybrid vehicles on a subscription basis through Steer). Facedrive Marketplace offers curated merchandise created from sustainably sourced materials. Facedrive Foods offers contactless delivery of a wide variety of foods right to consumers’ doorsteps, with a focus on doing so in a socially and environmentally-conscious manner. Facedrive Social strives to keep people connected in a physically-distanced world through its HiQ and other e-socialization platforms that invite users to interact based on common interests and by offering gamification and mutual community support features. Facedrive Health strives to develop and offer innovative technological solutions to the most acute health challenges including its proprietary TraceSCAN wearable technology for contact tracing. Facedrive envisions changing the ridesharing, food delivery, e-commerce, social and health tech narratives for the better, for everyone, and is currently operational in Canada and the United States.
For more about Facedrive, visit www.facedrive.com.
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Certain information in this press release contains forward-looking information. This information is based on management’s reasonable assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to us and are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results and the timing of events – such as those pertaining to uptake and success of the HiPanda platform – may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information as a result of various factors. Information regarding our expectations of future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities or the markets in which we operate is forward-looking information. Statements containing forward-looking information are not facts but instead represent management’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events or circumstances. Many factors could cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
See “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” in Facedrive’s Filing Statement dated August 28, 2019 for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. Readers are urged to consider the uncertainties, risks and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. We have no intention and undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law.
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