Phil Thomson, James Corbett & Tom Batterbury

Auror Limited

Imagr of Lucy Turnball

When Phil Thomson, James Corbett and Tom Batterbury were in their early 20s, they left promising careers with top consulting, law and technology companies to start Auror. Their mission: to harness technology to transform the way retailers and police report, solve and prevent crime.

The three friends realised the rise in organised retail crime (ORC) groups had become a $150 billion problem for retailers around the world, costing New Zealand’s retailers $2 million every day.

With information siloed across multiple systems, and no way to easily identify and link offenders to ORC groups, retailers were falling back on their own prevention strategies, which often led to poor community outcomes. Offenders’ personal Information was being shared in social media groups, with no consideration for privacy. Retail staff often resorted to racial bias, resulting in innocent customers being refused service or falsely accused of crimes.

To stop this vicious spiral, the team built the world’s first retail crime intelligence software platform. Starting in NZ, Auror brokered a partnership with NZ Police, putting 4,500 police users on the platform and digitising their community interactions. Today, with more than 80% of the nation’s retailers using the platform, Auror saves NZ Police 200,000 hours a year in investigations.

NZ Police also use license plate recognition data from the platform’s retailers to help solve other crimes. By connecting the dots on organised crime intelligence, the Auror platform has not just reduced retail theft, saving retailers millions of dollars, but helped police solve numerous murders and drug-related crimes.

Auror is set to become a global phenomenon, with the platform used by some of world’s largest retailers. Customers include Australia’s three largest retailers, and one of the largest retailers in North America. In 2021, Auror’s revenue tripled and looks set to continue on an exponential trajectory.