This is the city of Skopje, N.Macedonia, the home city of the AirCare team. We can assure you, the city is there, but you just can’t see it from all the “smell fog”. Ah, the smell of winter is here - we used to say, romanticizing this phenomenon that would blanket the city 6 months every year.
What we didn’t know is that this was no smelly fog, it was toxic smog, and it killed 3000 people every year. 20 times over EU limits, 4 times over Beijing! But no one was talking about it, no media, no social networks, no protests.
We couldn't stand by and watch this happen to our town, so we decided to act. There was already air quality data available on an old and run-down government website, so Gorjan (the founder) sat down and made a mobile app that displayed this information in a very easy-to-understand way.
Once published, people downloaded it like crazy, making it go viral in the first month. Once the citizens knew what they were breathing, protests broke out all across the country, governments started to implement green policies, and companies started putting filters on their chimneys to prevent the release of toxic air. The country awakened, thanks to AirCare.
But Macedonia isn’t the only country facing this issue. The WHO concluded that 9/10 people in the world are exposed to air pollution over safe limits, and 7 million die from it every year. So we decided to expand AirCare into other neighboring countries, starting with Serbia.
With the help of the local movement Ne Davimo Beograd, thousands of Serbians downloaded AirCare. What happened then? The same effect as in Macedonia a few years prior: Protests, government action, corporate reaction. We seemed to have found a way to fight this problem with data!
The hard work we were doing didn’t go unnoticed either. First, T-Mobile in Macedonia awarded AirCare “App of the Year” for 3 years in a row. Then the President of Macedonia gave us an award for our eco-fight. Many awards later, the UN gave us the World Summit Award as the most impactful green global startup for 2020!
Since AirCare had such an amazing story, we were also invited to hold our own TED talk, and share with the world the vision that we had, inspiring people along the way. Watch the talk here.
The Global Expansion
But we didn’t stop at just Macedonia and Serbia. The world needed a solution like AirCare, and it was our duty as activists to deliver. So we started adding more countries, first Eastern Europe, then Western Europe, then the US, then Australia. People from all over the world kept sending us emails, asking us to add their country to AirCare.
So in 2022, we did what our users wanted - we went global. Using the latest technology in satellite imaging, weather forecasting, ground sensors and intelligent algorithms, AirCare can now tell you how good or bad the air quality is at any point around the world!
Where do we go from here? AirCare’s team is now expanding, with enthusiasts that want to make a positive change in the world. More and more people are downloading the app, and more green policies are being made worldwide!
Now it’s your time to be part of the AirCare story. Download the app and stay informed, check our open positions to join our team, and invest in AirCare to help us rapidly scale in new markets with even more detailed data!
AirCare in Numbers